2018-10-11 / Sports

It was ugly for Washington-Wilkes as Aquinas cruised to 47-7 victory

BLIP TYSON MAKES THE TACKLE IN A RECENT TIGER FOOTBALL GAME His efforts earned him Defensive Player of the Week honors last Friday against Aquinas. BLIP TYSON MAKES THE TACKLE IN A RECENT TIGER FOOTBALL GAME His efforts earned him Defensive Player of the Week honors last Friday against Aquinas. The plays were there because when they worked, they worked well. When they didn’t work, it was obvious that somebody wasn’t doing his job. Likewise on defense, when a freight train-sized hole opens up for Aquinas to run through, you can bet somebody, or several somebodies, on defense are not doing what they’re supposed to do.

If it works well when everyone is playing hard, then if every player plays hard on every snap, it’s going to work well all the time. “When you’re behind, never give up. When you’re ahead, never let up.” From an observers standpoint, many of the Tigers gave up last Friday.

Sure, it was tough to be without Corey Danner, Cedric Norman, and Antonio Marable. They were forcibly sitting out because of unjust ejections after the Lincoln County game. But if nothing else, the first quarter was evidence that W-W could play with Aquinas even without them.

But after that, especially after the half, they just didn’t. And the result was a 47-7 embarrassment that was pivotal in the region standings.

“Our younger guys are playing hard but our older guys just didn’t play hard Friday,” Tiger Head Coach Chad Alligood observed. “I don’t understand it and I don’t understand why we could play hard in Lincolnton and fight adversity playing on and on and on to beat Lincoln. And then Friday night we did not do that. That’s very frustrating to me.”

The coach went on to say that with relatively so few opportunities to play a football game, he could not understand why anyone would waste an opportunity and just not play hard.

“I’m going to play guys that are going to play hard. I don’t care if they’re a senior or a freshman,” he said looking ahead to this Friday’s homecoming game against the GMC Bulldogs. “If you play hard, you’re going to be on the field. That’s the name of the game.

“If you watch anybody, the guys that are running around and making plays are the teams that are winning,” he continued. “We have got to figure that out and understand that you have got to play hard to be successful. It [winning] does not just happen.”

There were opportunities against Aquinas that the Tigers did not take advantage of due to lack of effort. “Nothing else but a lack of effort,” he said.

For a moment, when the Tigers captured the onsides kick to start the second half, the outlook turned bright. But when a turnover gave the ball right back to the Irish, after that, too much of the effort evaporated.

“I can’t get them to understand that you have to play hard every single snap,” Alligood reiterated. “Not just when things are going your way. I asked them after the game why they played hard against Lincoln the entire ball game but not against Aquinas which was a bigger ball game than the Lincoln County game – and it was at home, in front of the home crowd. I got nothing.”

But on the other hand, the coach praised his younger players and more than once, especially on offense, there were at least seven freshmen on the field.

“I am so proud of the younger kids. We had some players out there for more snaps than they ever thought they would. Those guys are playing hard,” he said.

The coach also complimented the three players who were having to sit out. “I fought tooth and nail all week for them. What they did was not worthy of ejection after a game,” he said. “To their credit, they did a good job of handling it and still did a good job at practice for us.”

With GMC coming to Tiger Stadium this weekend, Alligood says the Bulldogs are fighting with many of the same issues as the Tigers.

There will be the distraction of homecoming and all the week’s activities leading up to that and despite the disappointing record to this point, Alligood says he’s going to try to zero in on the fact that there are still some opportunities to be taken advantage of.

“We are going to try to find 11 guys that want to play hard,” he said. “That’s my objective this week – the guys that step on the field Friday night are the 11 guys that want to play hard every single snap whether they are a freshman or a senior.”

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