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Tigers face Trojans team looking for first region win

A stellar defensive effort, led by Ja’Quan Lewis, kept the Greenville Tigers ahead of the Charles Henderson High School Trojans in 2014.  Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon is hoping for an encore performance Friday night.

A stellar defensive effort, led by Ja’Quan Lewis, kept the Greenville Tigers ahead of the Charles Henderson High School Trojans in 2014. Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon is hoping for an encore performance Friday night.

Week three’s opponent for the Greenville Tigers is a thirsty Charles Henderson team in search of their first area win.

The Tigers and Trojans will square off for the 63rd time Friday, and the historically close rivalry (the Trojans lead the count 33-28-1) is predicted to be just as close as last near’s 19-16 nailbiter.

Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that a strong core of Charles Henderson running backs is sure to make this year’s game every bit as exciting, though he still hopes the outcome is similarly the same.

“We’re expecting a very close game again, and a very tough opponent,” McLendon said.

“This should be the best team that we’ve played thus far.  They’re very good on both sides of the ball, and very athletic on offense and defense.  I’ve got a lot of respect for their program, and what they’re about and what they do.”

McLendon’s mantra of improving each week continues to ring true for the Tigers, as last Friday’s battle with Booker T. Washington offered a key opportunity for backups to earn some experience.

“Our goal was to go out there and take care of business early on so we could get some backups some work, and I felt like we accomplished that,” McLendon said.

Last Friday was busier than most as five-star defensive end Marlon Davidson committed verbally to Auburn University at Greenville High School’s auditorium, but the standout deftly avoided potential distractions and excelled in Tuskegee.

“He’s focused.  He had one of his best games Friday night, and I think he probably feels relieved more than anything,” McLendon said.

“It’s never been a lack of focus for him.  He’s ready to play and he comes ready to work each day.  He understands what he’s got to do.”

One of the few differences, aside from the addition of Davidson, is that this year’s battle will be fought at home.  McLendon said that in this game, only the second of only four planned regular season home games, the home atmosphere is everything.

“Without a doubt, it’s huge,” McLendon said.

“We want to take advantage of those home games, for sure.  Our kids play well at home, and it’s a lot more comfortable for them, obviously, but you’ve got to be able to play at home and on the road.  I think so far, we’ve done a good job of doing both.  I hope everybody comes to check us and Charles Henderson out, and I’m sure it’ll be a great atmosphere.”

The Tigers will host the invading Trojans Friday night, with a kickoff set for 7 p.m.