“We use our pads when we warm up, we are going to start our warm ups in a purple t-shirt for Emma Mitchell, who is battling with cancer right now,” Munford head coach Will Wagnon said. “She is a local girl; her mother was a teacher at the elementary school. The players have worked 5Ks for her and we have done a couple of things for her. She is battling right now and we feel like it would be a good opportunity to show our support for her and her fight.”
Robert Herring and the Talladega Tigers didn’t make the postseason, but they still have a lot on the line tonight. The Tigers are looking to win their fourth game of the season, which is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1995.
“It has been a good week of practice,” Herring said. “We are not in the playoffs, so it has been ‘hey let’s do this for the seniors and put them out on a good note. If we have four wins this year, it will be the first time that Talladega has had four wins in a long time. It is Munford, it is a rivalry game, and they are right down the road. It don’t matter what the weather does, we plan on it being a good ball game. Munford has a good team; you don’t go undefeated in that region without being good.”
Talladega enters tonight’s game looking to regroup after falling to Homewood, 66-0 last Friday. Wagon has been impressed with what he has seen from this year’s Talladega team.
“They have done some things well this year,” Wagnon said. “Coach Herring is doing a great job over there. I know this especially after last year it is not going to be easy for either team. I think it is going to be like any other rival game, everybody is going to give all they got and it is going to come down to the wire.”
Wagon and his coaching staff changed up practice this week, which allowed the team to have fun.
“We had a pretty good week,” Wagnon said. “We are trying to do some fun things for the kids. We let the older kids scrimmage with the younger guys. We try to keep them motivated and keep their mindset on what they have to do and continue to get better.”
The Tigers will try to contain Munford quarterback Monteo Garrett. The standout quarterback has 1255 passing yards and 15 touchdowns, while rushing for 955 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“They have a quarterback that can run it and throw it,” Herring said. “So it is like pick your poison. If you put everybody in the box to stop the run, he can throw it. He has two or three receivers that can go up and get it. After the catch it, they will make you miss and score. If you get back there and play zone to stop the pass, that quarterback can run it and go the distance on you like he has done everybody else.”
The Lions enter tonight’s game looking to finish the regular season with a 9-1 record.
Wagon said having four-year starters on the team has made this season easier than the ones in the past.
“Moneto (Garrett), Tavon (Lawson) and Earl Moss they all started since they were in the ninth grade, they are four year starters. It kind of gets easier in your fourth year, because they really know what to expect. They have been through just about everything and they know how to react to everything. It makes everything a little bit easier.”
Protecting the football will be vital of the Lions are going to defeat Talladega for the second time in program history.
“We are going to have to continue to take care of the football,” Wagnon said. “We can’t turn the ball over. We have to tackle well and hopefully, we can win the special team battle.”
Herring also believes his team will have a chance to win if they don’t turn the ball over.
“No turnovers,” Herring said. “We played Sylacauga real good and have turnovers in the second half and they got the momentum going. They ended up beating us pretty good. Tomorrow night against Munford, we need to play mistake free football to have a chance to win.”