Carver Tigers prepare for semifinal showdown with Buford

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The 3rd-ranked Carver Tigers are in the GHSA state semifinals for the fifth time in six years, but they're still a big-time underdog.

That's because they're hosting No. 1 Buford, the three-time defending state champ who won the first meeting between the two teams back in the second week of the season.

Of course, this Tiger team has made great strides since then.

"We learned that we've got to work better as a team, together," said senior running back Cequanti Ford. "I don't think in the beginning that we were as good as we are now. We were still kind of learning, because we had a lot of young players. When we played Buford then, we didn't have the same offense and defense that we have now, so I think we're better and more in tune to what the coaches are telling us. We're ready to play."

Senior safety Devonte Young agreed.

"Defensive-wise -- me speaking because I play defense -- we've gotten a lot more disciplined, a lot better," Young said. "So, I think we're ready. I know we're ready."

We'll find out Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm ET at McClung Memorial Stadium.