With Douglas County and their next opponent, Tri-Cities, tied at 1-3 in region play, a victory would give the Tigers the region’s fourth seed and a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.
“I would feel joy for these players and seniors who bust their tails. My desire is to have them get to the playoffs and break a five-year streak,” first-year head coach Jason Respert said.
However, with a 2-7 record, Respert said the season is going well despite the record and what it may reflect to some people.
“The season is going well. We’ve made lots of progress. I know our record is frustrating to some people, but we’ve had a challenging schedule. The players have had great attitudes and a tremendous work ethic, plus the coaches have really been on them,” Respert said.
With such a tremendous work ethic, the Tigers have some players stepping up. After game eight, the team’s rushing leader was Anthony Garner with 288 yards, averaging 5.24 yards per carry. Garner is also a receiving leader with 20 receptions for 344 yards and five touchdowns. The other receiving leader is Anthony Graves with 26 receptions for 367 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Ellis Richardson has passed for 1,149 yards and 10 touchdowns. The defensive leader for the Tigers is Terrell Gibson with 40 tackles.
Prior to playing the East Coweta Indians, the Tigers’ most recent win was against Westlake, 21-6, on Oct. 19.
“They were in the same position as us, having a new coaching staff,” Respert said.
They lost the next week to Newnan 21-13; a team Respert said was a good team that made the plays they needed to.
“I always tell them it’s harder to close inches than it is to close miles. We’ve closed miles, now we have to work on getting those inches,” Respert said.
Going into the game against East Coweta, Respert said he knew this team would be a lot like Newnan and that his team would have to make opportunities and take advantage of them.
Respert also said his team would need to play four quarters of football to win, which would take “effort and toughness.”
While the Tigers may have given effort, they fell just short as they were defeated by East Coweta, 38-33, Friday.