Tigers to give Rebels no quarter
The Rehobeth Rebels, the Greenville Tigers’ final area opponent of the regular season, are a team at a crossroads.
Sitting at 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the region, the Rebels have run out of steam in narrow defeats against key rivals such as Charles Henderson and Sidney Lanier, and the Tigers remain the only obstacle between them and a playoff berth.
Josh McLendon, Greenville’s head football coach, said that opponents with nothing to lose and everything to gain are the most dangerous opponents of all.
“They’re a team that’s still fighting for a playoff berth, so they’re coming in here with nothing to lose,” McLendon said.
“We expect a good game and a lot of fight out of them.”
History is on the Tigers’ side in Greenville and Rehobeth’s matchup history, though it is an admittedly short history.
In the Tigers and Rebels’ prior three meetings, the Tigers have never once failed to win by more than three touchdowns.
And though the Tigers have clinched the region title and a homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the thought of letting off the gas has never entered McLendon’s mind.
However, the team will tweak practice for the ensuing weeks to alleviate the stress of a long season.
“We’re still full speed ahead,” McLendon said. “We will do some things with practice—maybe take some steps to eliminate the… I don’t want to say physicality of it.
“But it has been a long season and we’ve been doing this for going on 12 weeks here, so we’re doing some things in practice to scale back. But the tempo and the urgency are still there.”
Friday marks a special night for Greenville in that the Tigers’ 22 seniors will be honored for their various contributions to the team during senior night.
While McLendon agreed that the occasion is a special one, he also hopes it doesn’t distract from the ultimate goal.
“We’ve been talking about it all week,” McLendon said.
“The seniors are a big part of this season and what we’ve done, and we just want to make sure that those guys are recognized and get their moment this week. But we also want to focus on the game, too.”
McLendon added that, not unlike last week or every other week of the season thus far, winning in all three phases of the game would prove key to keeping the Tigers’ momentum rolling.
“You’ve got to be good on special teams. You’ve got to be sound in the tackling department. And offensively, we want to run the ball and be physical up front,” McLendon said. “I think that if we can do those things, we’ll be in good shape.”
The Tigers will face the Rebels for the final home game of the regular season Friday night, beginning at 7 p.m.