Issaac Melton intercepted an Andalusia pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, sparking a flurry of second half points by Greenville as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs 29-0 on Friday night for Homecoming.
Greenville led just 7-0 at halftime, and the Bulldogs were driving in Tigers’ territory when Melton stepped in front of quarterback Ken Chambers’ pass and returned it down the sideline to score.
“Ike’s one of our fastest guys,” said GHS head coach Ben Blackmon. “So when he caught it I knew nobody was going to catch him.”
And Greenville’s offense responded to the defense’s big play.
Ryan Smith found Jeremy Robinson for a 24-yard touchdown strike one possession later, and running back Cordez Peagler added a two-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Even when things went badly for the Tigers, good things happened. A bumbled extra point attempt following Robinson’s catch, allowed Smith to scramble and connect with Mikwese Claybourne for a 2-point conversion play instead.
“We were able to get things going in the second half,” said Blackmon.
Part of that was a return to the basics, said Blackmon.
“K.I.S.S…Keep It Simple Stupid,” he said. “That’s what we preach.”
Smith had a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter, but the Tigers’ offense failed to produce any more points in the opening half as Smith threw a pair of interceptions, both to defensive back O’Brien Curry.
In the closing minutes of the second quarter, a short five-play drive – highlighted by a 34-yard catch-and-run by Kamau Simmons – died at the Andalusia three-yard line on fourth down.
The defense, though, twice turned back the Bulldogs inside GHS territory.
Andalusia was on the verge of tying the game in the second quarter when Jamontay Pilson broke through and sacked Chambers on fourth and six at the Tigers’ 8-yard line. Marcus Peters and Kenneth Carter also combined on a sack late in the first half, killing one Bulldogs’ drive before it even got started.
“Our kids came ready to play on defense,” said Blackmon. “Coach (Matt) Coghlan did a great job getting them ready.”
The Tigers improved to 3-2 on the year and return to region action next week at Wilcox-Central.