Roughly 19 seniors will be honored tonight as the Bradwell Tigers host the Richmond Hill Wildcats for senior night game on Olvey Field.
Tonight’s matchup is the first of three final Region 3-AAAAA games on the Tigers’ regular season schedule and, with a 2-2 region mark, every game counts for a chance to see post-season action.
“Our playoffs hopes are not gone yet,” first-year football coach Adam Carter said. “We need to win two of our last three to get in and our kids know that. We would like to win three of our last three … We are really emphasizing finishing strong.”
The Tigers need a strong performance to get past the 6-1 Wildcats, currently ranked 120th in the state.
The Wildcats play assignment football and are led by senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. With Fitzgerald running the offense, the Wildcats have developed a balanced passing and running game. The senior QB is 13-of-31 for 396 passing yards and seven touchdowns with only one interception in six games. The Wildcats’ main receiver, senior Michael Clark, has four receptions for 192 yards and four touchdowns.
Fitzgerald is also responsible for most of the Wildcats’ rushing yards with 707 yards in 90 carries. All together, the Wildcat offense has rushed for 1,746 yards.
“He is a good football player and Richmond Hill is a good team in general,” Carter said. “They play fast and they are going to come with an option attack that they are really good at. They keep things simple for the kids and they are hard to prepare for in three days. Our biggest challenge is to get our kids to be able to play assignment football for the whole game.”
Tiger quarterback LaBaron Anthony is 33-of-77 for 372 passing yards and two touchdowns. Much like Fitzgerald, the Tiger QB leads the team in rushing with 515 yards on 95 carries. The Tiger offense has tallied 1,621 rushing yards to date.
The Tigers will need to protect Anthony from Wildcat Zhane Roberts, who has tallied five sacks in six games.
Defensively, the Tigers are led by Isiah Barnes with 67 tackles and Hubert Anderson with 63, but Carter said his defense will need to read between the lines because the Wildcats use an option.
“They will make you see stuff that they really don’t run and they will take advantage of that,” he said.
Carter also emphasized that Fitzgerald is tough to bring down at 6-feet, 5-inches tall and 215 pounds.
“If you don’t hit him every play, he is going to pull out and be at the gate with a big play … And even when you do hit him, he falls forward.”