Tigers keep finding ways to winBy Drew Granthum Published 9:06pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The sign of a truly great team is the ability to overcome any and all obstacles in their way, no matter what is thrown at it.
While it may be a little early to say if this year’s group of Chilton County Tigers is a truly great team, after last week’s come-from-behind win at Calera, it’s safe to say they’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep their dream season going.
The Tigers trailed 23-0 going into the second quarter but rallied to beat the Eagles, 29-23.
To understand how bad things looked in the first half, take into consideration that the Eagles had as many touchdowns as the Tigers had total offensive plays.
CCHS managed to get on the scoreboard after finally catching a break when Calera muffed a punt on its own 20-yard line. Five plays later, the Tigers were on the scoreboard.
While the scene going into halftime wasn’t pretty, coach Donnie Hand said his team stuck to what they had been doing all season.
“We didn’t tell them anything different than what we usually do at halftime,” he said. “I know it looked bad for us, but I don’t think the players ever gave up hope.”
The Tigers came out to start the second half scoring on their opening drive to make it 23-14.
Hand said the key to the comeback was the effort the CCHS offense put forth in the second half.
“The turning point was when our offense got their defense on their heels,” he said. “We started driving the ball down the field.”
The Tigers scored twice more and added a 2-point conversion to make the score 27-23 late in the fourth. The victory was sealed when Myric Good picked off a pass with less than 90 seconds to go to seal the comeback.
“I probably wasn’t comfortable until we intercepted the pass,” said Hand.
Hand said the backbone of the team’s ability to find ways to win comes from several veterans stepping up and taking leadership roles.
“Probably the No. 1 thing is the senior leadership,” he said. “We have a great group of seniors that work extremely hard on and off the field.”
The fact the Tigers made such a statement over a strong opponent sets a tone for the playoff ; the never-say-die attitude has them optimistic and looking ahead.
“We know Calera has a great team with some great athletes on it,” he said. “It gives us confidence going into the playoffs, because the 5A teams that made the playoffs have those same types of athletes.”
Hosting a first-round matchup is something Hand said his team has been playing for all year.
“Our team worked hard all summer in the weight room, and are still working hard in the weight room in the season,” he said. “Having a successful season shows [the players] that hard work pays off.”