The fifth-ranked Wildcats (4-2, 2-1) travel to West Paducah Friday to face a 4-1 Heath team that is getting better each week out.
After opening the season with a 38-6 loss to Massac County, Ill., Heath rebounded to beat Fulton County 30-12 and Ballard Memorial 49-8.
The Pirates have a 2-0 mark in district play with wins over Lone Oak (21-19) and last week’s 58-6 drubbing of Muhlenberg South.
Heath does have some offensive weapons that concern Higgins.
“They’ve got some weapons on offense,” he said. “Tilford is a good quarterback, and their backs can run.”
Quarterback Clint Tilford (6-3, 190, Sr.) is a mobile player who can throw in the pocket and scramble for yardage. He has completed 50-percent of his passes and thrown for 539 yard and seven touchdowns this year.
His favorite target is speedy receiver Jayce Long, who has caught 16 passes for 408 yards and six touchdowns.
Last week in their win over Muhlenberg South, Tilford was 6-of-12 passing for 161 yards. Long caught three passes for 122 yards and returned a kick 85 yards for a score.
The Pirates are a little larger on the line than in past years, which is one of the reasons why the Pirates are averaging 267 yards a game on the ground.
Sophomore Chad Wright (5-9, 160) is averaging 122 yards on the ground and has scored six touchdowns.
265-pound fullback Chris McKinney is a solid blocker and can pick up some yards, rushing for 293 yards and six touchdowns this year.
Wright had 149 yards on just four carries last week, scoring on runs of 61, 64, and 17 yards, while McKinney 129 yards on four carries and scored on runs of 64 and nine yards.
If there is a weakness to the Pirates, it may come on the ground where opponents have averaged 191 rushing yards a game.
The Wildcats have upped their rushing average to 209 yards a game behind a rebuilt offensive line that has helped backs average 6.5 yards a carry and only allowed six sacks in six games.
“We’re getting better up front. We still have some breakdowns, but we’re getting better and should be able to run some Friday,” Higgins said.
The Wildcats have five different running backs who average 35 yards or more a game, led by quarterback Tommy Woodall who has 348 yards and five scores.
Through the air, Woodall has completed 47-percent of his passes for 843 yards and eight touchdowns with ten interceptions.
Jamaal Boyd remains the Wildcats top receiver in yards (360) and touchdowns (5), while Devin Tejada leads the team in catches (15). Tejada is third in rushing with 237 yards.
Last year, the Wildcats forced Tilford into throwing four interceptions, including two in the end zone in Trigg County’s 28-14 win at Perdue Field. Tilford finished 7-of-19 for 208 yards, including a 67-yard bomb to Long.
But the Wildcats put the clamp on the Heath passing attack in the second half limiting them to 31 yards.
Trigg County rolled up 279 yards on the ground, and Higgins knows they will need a similar output again this week.
“We need balance, but we have to be able to run the football to set up the pass, like we did with Caldwell,” he said.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
TWO-MINUTE DRILL – Trigg County leads the all-time series 10-9, including the last six games dating back to 1988. The Wildcats are 7-3 in games at Heath…Trigg County has scored 82 points after 18 turnovers this year…The Wildcats are averaging 34.5 points a game, which currently ranks as fourth best in history…Trigg County is averaging 352 yards of offense and allowing 260…Scotty Mayes is averaging 9.7 yards per carry…Trigg County has outscored their opponents 74-20 in the second quarter and 46-13 in the third quarter.