By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
There is no place like home. The Princeton Tigers are 2-0 at Hunnicutt Stadium this season. Away from home the Tigers are 0-2. Tonight Coach Randy Peek’s Tigers (2-2) return home to take on the Spring Valley Timberwolves (2-2) in a Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup.
“It will be great to be back in Hunnicutt Stadium with the home crowd,” Peek said. “The first week (on the road) against Capital I thought we traveled well and played well. Against Hurricane we didn’t travel well. I think we just took them too lightly. I blame myself, I just didn’t have the prepared last week.”
The Tigers fell at Hurricane 41-21.
While they are returning home, the opponent doesn’t get any easier in Spring Valley.
“They’re a smash-mouth football team,” Peek pointed out. “Their offensive line is probably the biggest we’ll face this year. They have a very good quarterback and two running backs that are 200 (pounds) and 220 (pounds), so they are going to run right at us.”
Colby Webb and Dylan Lageman each chew up chunks of ground when they carry the ball. Webb averages 10.8 yards a carry, while Lageman is picking up 8.1 yards per rush. Quarterback Tyler Brown has completed 13-of-28 passes for 233 yards on the year.
Defensively Peek knows the Timberwolves run a 4-4 and he is hopeful that the Princeton offense can be more productive than it was last week at Hurricane.
“We’ve got to get to the edge. We haven’t been getting to the edge,” Peek said. “We run the triple option but we haven’t ran the actual option much. The first two games nobody took the dive away so we kept pounding the dive.”
With Jay Palmer at quarterback and Tahj Sho-Johnson at tailback, Peek believes the Tigers have the speed necessary to get to the corner.
“We’ve got pretty good speed out there,” Peek noted. “If we can get to the edge that will open up the middle and this flexbone, that’s what it’s all about. We need to win the time of possession, that’s a key for us.”
Sho-Johnson is Princeton’s leading rusher this season, running for 516 yards with eight touchdowns and averaging seven yards a carry.
Defensively, Peek said the Tigers are going to have to meet strength with strength.
“We’re going to try to g big-on-big. We’re going to try to mix it up there and try to get them in a throwing situation because they are not as good when they’re in a throwing situation,” Peek said. “We’ve got to make that quarterback have to throw and I think we will have a better chance at it.”
Kickoff at Anne S. Hunnicutt Stadium is at 7:30.