Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Wellllll, I hate to say I told you so but. . . this season has unfolded almost entirely as I predicted it and it's not far-fetched to say that I wasn't the only one who called it either. As mentioned in my previous article, 89 out of 110 people polled believed that the Tigers would have a winning record this season and as we've reached the halfway mark of the regular season, they've already exploded to a roaring 5-0 start confirming the beliefs of Tiger fans far and wide by outscoring their opponents 244-43, plus earning Georgia Team Of The Week Honors following their nail biter against North Murray three weeks ago which isn’t an easy feat as Georgia is most definitely a football state with superpowers such as Cedar Grove and Oconee County. As of this past Friday, the Tigers have now bolstered their resume yet again with their 3rd shutout of the season with the routing of the Murray County Indians 78-0, making it their second consecutive blowout following the bulldozing of the Warriors of Lakeview Fort-Oglethorpe [LFO] 56-0 a week prior. The best part is that we haven't even gotten into the nitty-gritty yet! Be sure to keep reading to find out more about what this stellar group of players has accomplished thus far!!
Gilmer County 35-15
North Murray 31-28
Murray County 78-0
Post-Game Magazine Covers
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Post Game Reactions
[Excluding Gilmer, and Ridgeland games since they were briefly mentioned in my last article]
North Murray -
I didn't think that superheroes existed... until I saw this game. Crash landing onto the scene, Peyton Williams and Landon Eaker saved the day for Tiger fans who watched on with bated breath. All throughout the entirety of the game, the rock-solid defense of Ringgold was slowly chipped away at by the two monstrous receivers of North Murray who made impossible catch after catch. Not only that, but this game was a truly rare occurrence where the Tigers run game was seemingly stifled. To make matters worse, the game was filled with penalties and poor calls by the referees, which led many to question whether these referees, in fact, had eyes.
As the team made their way off the field to the locker room at halftime the coaching staff suddenly turned the team around and had them make a detour to walk up the stairs and the team walked through the stands where their devoted fans were sitting. The crowd in response jumped to their feet and cheered wildly, yelling at them to persevere and keep their head in the game. I’m not sure what else may have transpired in the locker room, but I imagine the coaches gave a fiery speech to revitalize this team and encourage them to get back on their feet. Down by 21 points in the 3rd quarter, Tiger fans had their previously unshakeable confidence rocked to its core but they continued to claw at their opponent. Despite nearly every call going against the Tigers, in the second half, they slowly but surely found their superpowers. That's where one of our two heroes swoops in. Peyton Williams appears on the scene and he scores, scores, and scores again. He along with the help of Kori Dumas played a huge role on the offense while the defense played lights out in order to bring their team right back into the ball game.
After a Marcus Fortson interception which ended a long drive by the Indians, fast forward to late in the 4th quarter, the Tigers overcame the 21 point deficit and the game now sits tied at 28. They start the possession riding the momentum of this turnover, but they're pinned down near the endzone with approximately a minute or two remaining, needing a 99-yard drive to win the game. So what did they do? They marched the football down the entire length of the field, but a play gets called back; however, the good news is, the ball is still in field goal range... The ball is marked at the 44-yard line as the kicker, our second hero, Landon Eaker erupts onto the scene with less than ten seconds remaining in the game. North Murray uses up all of their timeouts in an attempt to ice the kicker, but this kicker has nerves of steel. Why? Because he's a superhero! Barely within Tiger territory, he kicks from deep and the Tigers win!
Without a doubt in my mind this had to have been the greatest Ringgold football game I've ever seen and that's somehow still a severe understatement. This game quite possibly might have been the best high school football game in the entire state of Georgia, regardless of classification, as of three weeks ago. In retrospect, I believe this game will be a defining moment for this group of guys. They had their dominance seriously questioned for the first time this season and they responded in the best way they know how. In a manner that perfectly defines superheroes, they got knocked to the ground a few times, but they still stood up, with torn uniforms, soaked with blood and sweat. Although they may have gotten up slowly, they laced up their cleats and got to work in the second half all the same, repeatedly pounding and pounding on that North Murray team, until finally, they gave way. In the face of odds being stacked against them in a hostile, noisy, North Murray environment, it would've been extremely easy for Ringgold to roll over and play dead, but they fought every single second of the way. They proved the thought that "It ain't over until it's over!" This game and the adversity faced here will surely come in handy when the Tigers face future opponents, including Adairsville next week and Rockmart at the end of the season.
Ringgold Welcomes Its Undefeated Squad Home! (Video From Ringgoldhs_Tigers/Instagram)
Ringgold Fans Big & Small Were Cheering On The Tigers!
LFO & Murray County -
Both of these games were cut from the same cloth, since for me, there wasn't too much that distinguished these two games from one another. They both had loads and loads of similar characteristics. From start to finish, Ringgold's defense was absolutely suffocating and the offense was wildly overwhelming while the special teams were nothing to scoff at either. After watching these past few games, it's hard to even tell what opposing teams should be more afraid of: The Tigers defense, which allows absolutely no breathing room? Or the Tiger's offense, which is essentially like a 6 headed snake. Even if you manage to cut off one head, there are still 5 more left to take care of, and for many teams, that's far too much to handle! In fact, if you think about it even more, the 2nd and 3rd team players are almost every bit as dominant as their first string counterparts with younger players like Hudson Moss, Garrett Edgar, Elijah Bradberry and Kishaun Taylor who each got the spotlight at some point in the last two weeks. For anyone who was watching, most of us had the same takeaway: This team is deep. If you somehow manage to shut down one running back, that's fine, because they have another. If you shut down a receiver, that's fine too. They've got plenty more of those. When you have so many talented players with no major drop-off between the first, second, and third-string, what can other teams possibly hope to do?
Let's dive into some of the finer details. What were some of the other similarities and highlights of these two games? The three biggest highlights are 1: The Tigers broke their all-time record for largest margin of victory against LFO [56-0]; 2: The Tigers broke that new record a week later against Murray County [78-0] while also setting a new all-time record for most points scored in a game; and 3: The Tigers hit their 750th game of all-time! Some of the individual highlights include Kori Dumas scoring his 200th career point against LFO, while Coleton Carlock reached 100 career tackles and Landon Eaker scored his 100th career point against Murray County! In the LFO game alone, there were 3 defensive scores and 5 takeaways, while in the Murray County game the points were distributed well across the board, with two being defensive scores, two from special teams, six from rushing, and one from passing! You might be wondering, where was the mercy rule? Well, the mercy rule (running clock) was in effect, but it still wasn't enough to save Murray County from the beatdown of a lifetime!
So, where do the Tigers go from here? They can go anywhere really and it's entirely up to them. If the Tigers maintain this hunger and aggressiveness throughout the season, then the only way they can go is up, but the opposite is also true, meaning they shouldn't allow themselves to become complacent or underestimate opponents, as that almost always leads to a rude awakening. As a lifelong resident of Ringgold, I can testify to the fact that the feeling of excitement is very real. The hype surrounding this team is even more real. Don Patterson field is packed to the brim every Friday night and the same goes for the away games where it’s almost impossible to find a seat, simply because the fanbase travels so well. Why is that? It's because people have high hopes for this team and legitimately believe that this squad is every bit as good, if not better than the Ringgold team that made it to the final 4 of the state championships in 2013.
I just shared some of my experiences with this Ringgold High School squad and their growth this year. Did you play for the Tigers? What was it like for you? Are you a Ringgold fan? How will the Tigers fare this season? Tell us in the comments below! Feel free to share our article by hitting the share button and leaving a like!
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