2017-09-28 / Sports

Turnovers, penalties plague Tigers, need correction


DEVONTA OWENS and D’MYTRI WIGGS sack the Tattnall quarterback for a big loss. 
Photo by SPARKY NEWSOME DEVONTA OWENS and D’MYTRI WIGGS sack the Tattnall quarterback for a big loss. Photo by SPARKY NEWSOME Just seven shy of 400 yards of total offense, no punts, and 19 first downs and you win the football game – right? Nope, not this time. Turnovers and penalties negated the Washington-Wilkes Tigers otherwise fabulous performance and cost them the game. More specifically, the timing of some of those missteps couldn’t have been worse and on more than one occasion, a re-do of just a single play could have easily changed the outcome of the game.

But the fact is, Tattnall Square came out the winner, 35-30, and no amount of statistic chasing can change that fact.

It doesn’t matter that stats favored W-W in many instances. The score on the board is what matters and the Tigers lost.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot and we have got to learn how to win those ball games,” Head Coach Chad Alligood said. “We’re going to try to get those things corrected this week.”


GIAN DAVIS returned the opening kickoff 76 yards, leading to the Tigers’ first touchdown just seconds after the game’s beginning. 
Photo by MERCER HARRIS GIAN DAVIS returned the opening kickoff 76 yards, leading to the Tigers’ first touchdown just seconds after the game’s beginning. Photo by MERCER HARRIS Two of the three Tiger fumbles were especially hard to take. The first was a fumble inside the 10 yard-line at the end of a fantastic and powerful run by Malik Hall. But a defenders well-placed helmet knocked the ball loose and the Trojans recovered at the one. Another came deep in the Tigers’ own territory after a 70-yard run by Hall was called back on a holding penalty.

“You cannot turn the ball over,” Alligood moaned. “We don’t fumble it in practice. The ball is never on the ground in practice. That’s the frustrating part. But if you turn the ball over three times, you’re going to get beat.”

Also a touchdown reception by Corey Danner was called back on a holding penalty.

“We’ve got to find a way to win those ball games. I told them, if you want to be good, you’ve got to win those games,” Alligood continued. “I’m tired of moral victories. It’s time to have a scoreboard victory. Losing is unacceptable and losing has got to hurt. You cannot get comfortable with losing. We are playing hard and the kids are doing a good job playing the game and staying in the game,” he added. “But at some point, losing has got to hurt so bad that you don’t want to face it … and you’ve got to be willing to make a play to make it happen. But I think we have some guys who are waiting on someone else to make a play instead of making a play themselves.”

On the up side, the coach still agrees that the new Tigers are making progress, calling the game as good as any his team has played – except for the turnovers and pen alties.

“We’re still making strides in turning this culture around,” He said. “But it’s time to win a ball game.”

And there’s no better time to start. This Friday at Tiger Stadium, W-W will entertain arch rival Lincoln County in the first game that really matters – the first region game of the season.

“Not only is this a huge ball game, it is a huge ball game for both of us this year to get us headed in the right direction for region play,” Alligood said. “You want to start off good in region play to get your momentum rolling. It’s already a huge game because it’s our rival, but it’s even bigger because it’s the first region game and both of us are trying to get that momentum going.”

The coach still harped on execution and the need for the Tigers to get better.

He’s also aware that the Lincoln Red Devils are a good football team with plenty of seniority, talent, and experience in many key positions. Still, the Devils are in the same 1-3 boat as the Tigers and will be hungry for a lead-off region win.

“I’m proud of the direction we’re going but we’ve got to take one more big step so we can get over the hurdle and move forward. And this week is as good as any,” Alligood said.

“I’m not used to losing,” he added. “As far as we have come, we have got to get people to understand that it’s not okay to lose … We are just on the brink of big things happening, but we’ve got to take that next step.”

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