Greenville’s season ends
BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The season has ended for the Greenville High Tigers varsity football team with their heart breaking, second round playoff loss to the UMS-Wright Bulldogs 14-12.
It was a game of defense, as both teams towed the line and got physical from sideline to sideline.
Neither wished to give up ground by pass or run, but penalties by Greenville throughout the game and in the waning seconds would negate their chance to tie the game and push it to overtime.
The first quarter was a draw with several long rushes each, but defenses stiffened each time and eventually it closed tied 0-0.
The second quarter seemed to be headed the same way, but the Bulldogs would have help from the Tigers on a 60-yard drive.
A five yard penalty for encroachment by the Tigers on a fourth and five at the Bulldogs 48-yard line would give them the necessary momentum to finish the drive on a 6-yard run with less than a minute on the clock.
The point after attempt was good and the Bulldogs led 7-0.
Greenville would make a last second attempt for the goal line on a long pass play to senior receiver Javonte Herbert, but he was caught and tackled a few yards before the goal line.
The third quarter would prove the same as the first. It was back and forth but neither team could put together a finishing drive to score.
In the fourth quarter, Greenville’s passing game would capitalize on Tiger senior Jaquavius Sellers’ interception of a Bulldog pass inside the Tiger 10-yard line. He would return it to the Tigers’ 18-yard line.
Tiger junior quarterback Andre Davidson would quickly throw a quick sideline pass to senior receiver Laquan Robinson.
He would back up while stiff-arming defenders then make his way to open field and outrun the defense for an 82-yard score with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The two point conversion failed and the Tigers trailed 7-6.
Greenville would hold UMS on their next possession and force them to punt. After receiving the punt on their 21-yard line, the Tigers would face a fourth and nine at the 23-yards line after an offside penalty .
Greenville went for it. On a pass play, Davidson would have to leave the pocket and would be tackled as he was throwing. The pass fell short into the arms of a Bulldog defender who returned it for a touchdown.
The extra point attempt kick was good and they led 14-6 with three minutes left in the game.
Greenville would take the ensuing kickoff and quickly push it down the field to score on a Davidson to junior receiver Jonathon Purifoy 18-yard pass.
Greenville would try a two point attempt but an offside penalty and un-sportsmanship-like call thereafter would push the ball 22 yards further back.
Greenville tried a pass but it went over the receiver’s head in the end zone. The Tigers attempted an onside kick but it was recovered by a Bulldog and the game would end 14-12.
Greenville finished the season with an 8-4 overall record and going 5-1 in Region 2.
Head coach Josh McLendon said of their second round playoff loss to UMS-Wright, “Our guys played hard. I’m proud of them.”
Talking about the overall season, he said, “It was a tough loss. I thought we played really hard. We just came up a few points short.”
He added, “Anytime you can make it to the second round, you’ve had a successful season.”