The Bradwell Institute Tigers face the Wildcats of Camden County tonight in Kingsland in what is likely to be the Tigers’ toughest battle this season.
The Wildcats have won 14 region titles and are 6-0 in Region 3-AAAAA. The 7-2 overall Wildcats have defeated the Tigers in their last eight games.
The Tigers, on the other hand, came out of the starting gate slow and were plagued with injuries. As they hit mid-season, players got healthy and the Hinesville team took three straight victories against Savannah, Beach and Johnson, earning a spot in the post-season.
Tiger coach Jim Walsh said the Wildcats are stacked with upperclassmen and can do damage from many angles.
"What they do, they do well," he said. "They are going to run the traditional wing-T, the buck, the belly, the down, the sally, the keep pass, the waggle and then they are going to show you a ton of formations offensively, forcing you to play disciplined football."
The coach said they will have to seal the gaps and make every tackle to avoid falling behind.
"We need to move the ball, move the chains and get the ball in the end zone and control the tempo of the game," he said. "Our kids are ready for this. We just have to get out there and get the job done."
The Tigers will need the versatile offense they exhibited in their last two games. The run/pass combination threw off the opponents’ defense, expecting the sweep or rush up the middle.Distributing the ball to Stanley White, Saquan Anderson, Robert Augustin and others has opened up the run for fullback senior
Sheldon Barnes and quarterback Wilson Brown, who’ve scored most of the Tigers’ touchdowns in the last two games.
The Tiger defense needs to maintain the pressure. Against Johnson they had five tackles for losses, scored a safety, recovered a fumble for a touchdown and got two interceptions.
"Defensively, they are going to run a lot of their eight-man front against us," Walsh said. "They play the 3-5 defense and we have to be methodical and execute."
If the Tigers win or if Beach High beats Jenkins, the Tigers could earn a third place region finish. If not, they retain the fourth spot for a playoff game.
"The thing about it is, when you get to the post season you are always going to play against tough teams and you are going to have to win games against good football teams," Walsh said. "You have to play solid football at that point so it doesn’t matter where we are seeded. We have to win. This upcoming week will give us a test to our post season and where we are in the great scheme of things."