Tigers travel with high hopes

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, November 15, 2012

It’s safe to say that Chilton County High School’s football team is not for the faint of heart.

That’s not an insult; the Tigers (11-1) have found more ways to win games this year than most teams find in a decade. Despite a first half that saw them give up 14 points while scoring none, the Tigers clawed back, forced overtime and won their first playoff game since 1996 last Friday against Saraland.

It was a dramatic three-overtime thriller that had fans on the edge of their seats, but head coach Donnie Hand knows that in spite of how exciting the game was, it could have just as easily gone the other way.

“We know we have to get better to get past the second round,” he said. “We had 18 penalties and 4 turnovers in the game. We have been working hard to fix that.”

While the game against Saraland wasn’t pretty, the Tigers were still playing in a comfortable environment at home. This weekend, they’ll be travelling to Alex City to take on Benjamin Russell (11-1) who matches CCHS very evenly on paper.

Despite being in a hostile environment, Hand said he has faith that his team won’t be the only thing that handles a road trip well.

“Last year we had trouble playing on the road, but we have done a much better job this year,” he said. “I hope we can continue playing well. We also know Ben Russell will have a big crowd, but our fans do an outstanding job of following us on the road this year.”

The Tigers hope that their ability of finding ways to win follows them too. Their last road game saw them come back from a huge deficit to knock off Calera, 29-23.

In order for them to survive this road test, Hand said the Tigers had to play with more focus.

“We can’t have turnovers against a great team like Ben Russell,” he said. “We have to cut down on penalties. We have to get something going on offense in the first quarter.”

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.