Childersburg High School’s football team will host Class 4A, Region 4 foe Holtville at John Cox Stadium tonight at 7.
The Tigers fell to the Bulldogs 35-12 in 2018. Childersburg leads the series 7-4.
Holtville’s win over Childersburg last season marked the start of a stretch where the Bulldogs won six of their last eight regular-season games to clinch a playoff berth. For the Tigers, it was the second setback in a skid where they lost seven of their last eight to finish last in the region.
Here are four things to know about the 12th meeting of the programs:
Poor practice makes Tigers imperfect
Childersburg (2-1, 0-1) dropped its first region game of 2019 to Talladega (1-1, 1-0) last week, falling 28-8.
Tigers head coach Jonathan Beverly gave his assessment of what caused the Tigers to have a bad performance and how to fix it moving forward.
“The loss was a direct result of us having a poor week of practice,” he said. “Monday through Thursday of last week was just not very good, and it showed on Friday. The thing that we wanted to correct this week was obviously putting together four straight days of solid, sharp competitive practice, and that’s what we did … I thought we’ve done well.”
Holding down Holtville’s offense
The Bulldogs caught several teams off guard last season with an offensive attack that generated 30.5 points per game.
Beverly said Childersburg’s challenge going against Holtville was having to plan for a dual-quarterback attack in Kelandre Baker and Braxton Buck.
“That in itself is difficult,” Beverly said. “One guy is more of a runner (Buck), while the other (Baker) is more of a pocket passer. We had to basically prepare defensively for not two different offenses, but two different skill sets from the trigger guy. I feel confident defensively that we’ve got a good plan and we’re prepared. Whoever takes the most snaps for them, I feel like we’re prepared either way.”
More Tigers need to hunt
Beverly spotlighted several players he believes can push the Tigers to a win.
“(Wide receivers) Zae Truss and Jay Twyman are two guys we need good games out of because all the eyes are going to be on (quarterback Cameron) Thrash, (running back) Terry Thomas and (running back Xzavion Garrett),” he said. “We need some of those auxiliary guys to make the big plays for us.
“Defensively, we need a really good game from (lineman) Jaylon Cook and (linebacker) Cordell Speer. Those guys have been playing well, but everyone’s been keying on (linebacker) Zay Youngblood and (lineman) Andrew Chatman so much.”
With Childersburg celebrating homecoming this week, plenty of pomp and circumstance with alumni in town and school events create potential for distractions from the capstone of the week -- the game itself.
Beverly said the team had to hammer down at practice and put the focus where it needed to be.
“We’ve let them know that when you walk into the field house and you walk onto the practice field, it’s all business,” he said. “We want to have fun, but the most important thing is to win the football game on Friday night. We try to tell our seniors, ‘That’s what you’ll remember. You won’t remember the things that happen on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of your homecoming week, but you’ll remember how you performed on Friday.’”