The Tigers are trying to bounce back from a pair of frustrating losses to open the 2012 campaign and they’ll look to do so against Jordan on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Rogers Stadium.
Coming off an open week, Tiger coach Seth Rogers said his ball club has shored up some weaknesses from the opening two ball games and aims to head in a different direction.
“I thought we cut out some mistakes. We’ve just got to capitalize on turnovers and just play football. We can sit here and talk about how young we are, but to me those are all excuses. It’s time for us to win a football game. What I’ve preached to the kids all week and last week is the first part of the season’s over with. We start for real on Friday. What a great opportunity to be sitting at 1-0 in the region. If you’re 1-0 in the region on Friday, you’re tied for first place,” Rogers said.
Both the Tigers (0-2) and Red Jackets (0-2) have stumbled a bit coming out of the gates, with first-year Jordan coach Jim Brown taking over the program after serving as an assistant at Lassiter High School in Marietta.
“They’re a lot like us. They’re young. You know, coach Brown’s done a good job. They come up here last year with about 35 kids and he’s got about 75 to 85 kids out this year. They’re very athletic from watching them on film. The quarterback is a pretty good player. He can make some plays in the passing game and can also hurt you with speed. Their running backs are not bad. Pretty athletic. And then defensively, they just get after you,” Rogers said.
Temple won a 40-13 decision over Jordan last season, but Rogers expects a better ball club to roll into town Friday than what it faced last fall. The Red Jackets lost their season opener to Hardaway, 49-21, and then dropped a 41-14 contest to Northside, Columbus last week.
The Tigers were off last week and Rogers said it came at a good time with a few guys nursing some bumps and bruises. The Temple coach said right guard Tyler Thompson and right tackle Taylor Peebles will both be game-time decisions, but he expects everyone else to be good enough to go.
“We’ve got one or two more banged up that’ll play, but those are the two big ones right now,” Rogers said of the linemen.
Due to some of the injuries, the Temple coaching staff has had to do a little shuffling, but Rogers is confident the younger guys will be ready to step up when called upon.
“Offensively, we feel like we’re starting to get it together a little bit. We’ve kind of had to plug and play some guys that have played, but at the same time, it’s not the guys we’ve rolled out there since Day 1 of camp,” Rogers said. “Anytime you do that, you’re going to have some problems. But those kids come to practice every day, too. So they know what to do and we won’t miss a beat.”
And with the “real” season beginning this week, Rogers is hopeful that a fresh start is just what his team needs in moving forward.
“That’s kind of been our rallying cry this week. So we’re going to make the most out of this opportunity. After Friday around 10:30 or 11 o’clock, hopefully we’ll be sitting in a tie for first,” Rogers said.