The 3-1 Wildcats and 3-0 Falcons meet to likely determine who will win the regular season district title and carry the top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“Fort Campbell is very good. Skill-wise, they are as good as I have ever seen them,” Higgins said. “They are very athletic at their skill positions on both sides of the football.”
While a win over the top-ranked Falcons would give the sixth-ranked Wildcats some statewide attention, Higgins knows a tough road win on post could be the spark that ignites Trigg into a deep playoff run.
“We haven’t beat many good teams on the road. They have a definite home field advantage, but we haven’t played well there the last time we were there,” he said.
The first priority for the Wildcats will be to keep Falcon star Micah Johnson from taking over the football game on both sides of the football.
Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound senior, is getting college looks from across the nation after rushing for 1,249 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. He is the son of a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who played wide receiver at a college in Texas, and has an older brother who is an offensive lineman at the University of Kentucky.
This year, Johnson has rushed for 403 yards and seven touchdowns as part of a Falcon offense that is averaging 42.3 points a game.
“Their focus on offense is to obviously use Micah as much as possible and then use the others some to keep you off guard,” Higgins said.
Among the schools who have Johnson on their wish list are Kentucky, Florida, West Virginia, Florida State, Virginia, and Southern California.
Quarterback C.J. Croft has thrown for 218 yards and seven touchdowns in Fort Campbell’s three wins, which came over Paducah Tilghman (27-8), Fort Knox (46-10), and Madisonville (54-7).
Higgins said the Falcons like to use Steven Nunn on the jet sweep. The senior back, who left the tam midway through last year, rushed for 102 yards on just eight carries two years ago, but was held to minus-two yards on six carries last year.
Yule Wimbush (5-10, 175, Sr.), LaDarius Davis (5-8, 155, Sr.), and Larry Robinson (6-3, 185, Sr.) provide speedy targets for Croft through the air.
On defense, Johnson and Leonard Gordon lead a Falcon defense that is giving up just nine points and just 127 yards of total offense a game.
Gordon, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior, had three of his four interceptions last year against Trigg County.
Higgins said Gordon was expected to start the season at quarterback but has played primarily on defense in Fort Campbell’s first three games. However, he said it wouldn’t surprise him to see Gordon line up on offense for a few plays.
If the Falcons have a part of their game that isn’t as strong as the rest, it is on their line where Orlando Misaafelua, a six-foot, 200-pound senior, is the lone returning starter.
Salvadore Frazier (5-10, 215, Jr.), Jesse Jerkins (6-0, 240, Jr.), and Zack Rinestine (6-2, 230, Soph.) are among the players that have seen times in the trenches for the Falcons.
“Up front, we match up well,” Higgins said, “but we had better block them or we will lose 4-to-5 yards every time.”
As has been the case the last two years, Higgins doesn’t expect the game to be a high-scoring affair.
“I think the first one to score 20 wins. They fly to the football on defense and are aggressive, and they’ve been able to match up with us man-to-man,” Higgins said.
After winning two straight games in the series in 2001 and 2002, the Falcons have won the last two, including last year’s 26-7 contest at Perdue Field.
“They big played us two years ago, and we gave them too many turnovers last year,” Higgins said, adding that those two factors will determine this year’s outcome as well.
“We can’t give up the big play like we did against Bowling Green (three weeks ago),” he said. “We will have to play A+ football and not turn the football over.”
Trigg County has turned the football over 13 times in four games and had five touchdowns called back due to penalties.
“We can’t have that this week, or we are in trouble,” Higgins said.
Kickoff at Fryar Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
As has been the case in past years, Trigg County fans attending the game will have to follow the same procedure to get on post.
Fans should go through the main gate at the state line and check into the visitor’s center to the right of the entrance.
The operator of the vehicle will have to produce a valid license, insurance card, and registration receipt in order to be given a temporary pass to enter Fort Campbell.
Once inside, continue straight until you see the football stadium on your left.
TWO-MINUTE DRILL – Fort Campbell leads the all-time series 19-11, including 11-4 in games played at Fryar Stadium and nine of the last 11 games played overall…The Falcons have won 15 straight regular season home games dating back to a 2002 loss to Caldwell County in overtime…Trigg County last won at Fort Campbell in 2001 – three days after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C…. Last year, Fort Campbell held Trigg County without an offensive touchdown for the first time since October 1999…Curtis Higgins is 2-3 against Fort Campbell…Junior cornerback Kyle Allen is expected to miss several weeks after breaking his hand in the first half of Trigg County’s 51-22 win over Hopkins Central two weeks ago.