Siegel knows it will get tougher

Siegel knows it will get tougher

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Siegel knows it will get tougher

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MURFREESBORO

Second-ranked Siegel has cruised to the program’s best start in school history behind a quick-striking offense and a dominant defense.

All but two of the undefeated Stars’ eight games have ended with a running clock. And one more — a 43-12 win over La Vergne — began the second half with a running clock.

But has the Stars’ offense been too strong? What happens if a night comes when the Stars find themselves in a close contest deep into the fourth quarter? Will they be ready physically and mentally?

The only game in question at halftime came in Week 4 against Riverdale, but ended with the Stars winning 49-28.

“That always worries you,” Siegel coach Greg Wyant said. “The Riverdale game was a close game. I guess that’s the closest game we’ve had. We’ve got to be able to compete through all four quarters. We condition every week to be able to play four quarters.

“Between what we do in strength and conditioning class and what we do on the practice field, our guys should be in pretty good shape.”

Siegel (8-0) hosts Independence (6-2) at 7 p.m. today at Ken Nolan Stadium on senior night.

Siegel has scored 263 of its 360 points (73 percent) in the first half of games this season. The Stars have generally toned down its offense in the second half this season, staying primarily to the ground game.

“We try not to think of it as (a mercy rule),” Siegel senior Tae Martin said. “We try to finish stronger than we started. The second half we try to forget about the score, and try to look at it as 0-0.

“We know things will start changing once the regular season gets over with. We can’t get comfortable or relaxed, or big headed.”

Siegel’s offense is averaging 464.3 yards a game this season, while its defense is giving up just 240.4 yards.

Independence’s defense this season has held its opponents to 17.8 points this season. The Eagles, who are coached by former Tennessee Titan Kevin Dyson, were mercy ruled by fifth-ranked Brentwood in Week 2, falling 51-10. Blackman defeated Independence for its only other loss to open the season.

The Stars defense, though, has stayed strong. Siegel, which has allowed 61 points (7.6 ppg) all season, has given up just 19 points in the second half this season. And no opponent has scored a point on Siegel in the fourth quarter this season.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” Wyant said. “Kids are fatigued. You’ve got to make sure you can keep them fresh. We’re going to play our kids, depending how bad it is, at least one series in the second half and maybe through the third quarter.

“You also don’t want to have any injuries. You want to stay sharp, but you don’t want to get anybody hurt.”

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