Tigers host Rams tonight
by LaVonte Young
Mother nature prevented the Talladega Tigers from getting on the field early in the week, but Talladega head coach Chris Mahand believes his team still got a lot things accomplished going into tonight’s game against Ramsay.

“The rain held us down a couple of days, so we had to go into the gym,” Mahand said. “We still got some much-needed work done in the gym. When you don’t get the opportunity to go outside you don’t get the opportunity to work on your passing game, so you try to polish the run game as much as you can to make sure people are going into the right direction and block the right people. We still got some good work in.”

The Tigers (1-0) defeated TC Central 36-0 in the season opener last Friday. Mahand knows if they are fortunate to keep winning the games they are going to get tougher each week.

“ We can’t sputter,” Mahand said. “We had a situation a couple of times that we had backs to go the wrong way in the first quarter. We had a couple of blown blocking assignments. As the weeks go on the teams we face are going to get better each week, so we have to continue to get better. Like I told the boys we can’t be satisfied with where we are. As the weeks go by and the Lord continues to bless us to have some success then people are going to be more aware of what we are capable of doing and they are going to practice harder for us. You are going to have to get better because people are going to expect you to give more challenges during the game than you have in the past. We just have to continue to get better from week to week.”

Mahand said he has been impressed with his skill players and his offensive linemen last week against TCC.

“I have been extremely impressed with all my skill guys,” Mahand said. “I have been impressed with Justin Kelly and I have been impressed with Domanic Johnson’s play. I have been impressed with Ahmad Gooden, LaDerrick Stamps, Brandon Wilson and my quarterback play. I have been impressed with them, but I have also been impressed with my offensive line. The skill guys are just making plays, but they are making plays because the offensive line is opening up holes for them to run through.”

Ramsay played their first varsity football game since 1976 last week. The Rams’ fall to Fairfield 16-6 in their season opener. Mahand knows that the Rams are going to be tough if they allow them to stay close.

“Ramsay is a young football team, but they are very energetic,” Mahand said. “Fairfield has a strong tradition, with Coach McCracken leading Fairfield you would think that they would manhandle Ramsay with their experience and guidance. They have been playing football since elementary school, so they should dominate a school like Ramsay, but Ramsay gave Fairfield all they wanted to have. They are very active and they are very feisty. If don’t get a hold on them fast you are going to find yourself in a dog fight, because they are not going to give up very easy at all.”

Mahand feels like if the Tigers play their brand of football they can leave Mary Dumas Stadium with a 2-0 record for the first time since 1991.

“We are getting to the point now where I can start saying the key to our victory is we are going to have to play Talladega football,” Mahand said. “ We are going to have to play the football that we are capable of playing. If we play the football that we are capable of playing, then, we can come away with a win.”

Kick off is set for 7 p.m. from Mary Dumas Stadium in Talladega.

© 2012