Tigers to defend the house against invading No. 3 TrojansPublished 6:19pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Coach Mike Battles sat in his office Monday afternoon, eyes glued to the laptop in the middle of their desk.
“They’ve got athletes all over the place,” he said of the Tigers Friday night opponent, Charles Henderson High School. The Tigers and the Trojans are set to tangle Friday night under the bright lights surrounding Hot O’Brien Stadium at 7.
The Trojans knocked off Beauregard in Troy the week prior.
“They are probably one of the top teams in the state,” said Battles. “Their quarterback, we saw him last year, he’s really improved.”
Good running backs and receivers; good offensive line and they are really tough and fast on defense.”
Friday’s game will be a contrast in styles as the Spread-based Trojans bang heads with the run-based Tigers.
“They are going to be effective,” said Battles.
“Beauregard beat them last year, early and we beat them and then they started really improving. They went and knocked Clay Central out and everybody thought (Clay) was going to be the one that’s going to be in the finals. (Henderson) has gotten better and better.”
For the Tigers, who have outscored their first two opponents a combined 98-12 with wins over B.T. Washington (first week) and Bullock County (second week).
“We are going to be on the ropes,” said Battles. “Defensively, we are going to have to be in position. One misstep against this bunch and they’ll take it to the house.”
The Trojans – coached by Mike Dean – scored on their first two possessions Friday night en route to a 35-14 whipping of then-No. 7 Beauregard (defending Region 2 champions). Trojans’ quarterback Austin Ingram completed a short pass to Josh Noel for the first score and then John Johnson put Charles Henderson up for good on a jet sweep into the end zone.
“The tougher competition you play, the better you get,” said Battle. “The speed of the game Friday night will be different. We might could overcome a mistake the first two weeks. We can’t against this team. They do a good job of getting the match-ups they want. If they get loose, they’re gone. We’re not going to catch them.”
The Tigers are led by the rushing duo of Brandon Baynes and Herman McKenzie with three touchdowns each in Friday’s solid 56-6 thumping of Bullock County. McKenzie, an All-State back a year ago, has lived up to the hype so far in 2013. However Battles knows for his purple Tigers to be successful Friday’s game can’t become a shootout.
“We’ve got to move the ball and keep their offense off the field,” said Battles. “We are going to do what we need to do. Bayside had some success using the play-action. They are just solid. We are going to have to block and tackle. They are going to put us out into space and we can’t miss them.”
Kickoff for Friday night’s game is set for 7.