Practice during Thanksgiving week is nothing new for Doug Loughridge and the Charleston Tigers.
It will be new to most of his roster this year though.
Charleston returned just one starter from its 3A state championship team in 2011. It didn’t show in the Tigers’ first playoff game in 2012.
“Except for one starter on our team, all these guys, only time they’ve been to a playoff game was in the stands,” Charleston coach Doug Loughridge said. “We have all new faces starting out there in a Friday night playoff game.”
After having a bye in the opening round of the playoffs, Charleston jumped all over Fordyce as the Tigers built a 44-14 lead. That lead was trimmed to seven in the closing minutes but four defensive stops in the red zone helped preserve the second round win.
A repeat performance will be tough as top ranked Glen Rose comes calling this week. The Beavers (11-1) have won 11 straight since losing by a field goal in week one, outscoring its opponents 465-105 in the process.
“I think they are a really good team,” Charleston lineman Levi Young said. “We are going to have to play a perfect game to win. It is going to be really tough. Just going to have to have a perfect week of practice.”
The Beavers have been atop the rankings in each of the 12 released polls.
“They are a heck of a team,” Charleston lineman Dillon Walker said. “They are number one in the state and we are going to have to come out and have a great game. No mental mistakes. And try to have our perfect game and pull it out.”
Charleston is used to having a target on its back but – for once – they are the underdog.
“You get the chance to play the number one team in the state this week,” Loughridge said. “To get there you are going to have to beat them some time so this is a chance for us to bring a young squad, come out here on our home field on Thanksgiving weekend play the number one team in the state and should be a great ball game.”
The Tigers are looking to get payback from the 2007 season when Glen Rose posted a 41-7 win at Charleston in the semfinals en route to its only state championship.