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Defense shines in GHS jamboree win

It was a bit of a slow start Friday afternoon for Greenville’s first outing of the season on the gridiron. But the Tigers soon roared to life, defeating the Hunstville-based Jemison Jaguars 33-13 at a Troy University-hosted jamboree tournament.

It was Jemison that struck first, courtesy of an early Greenville turnover that set up the Jaguars with a relatively short field.

Grenville soon responded in kind, marching the length of the field and reclaiming a 7-6 lead.  The Tigers would never trail again.

Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that, ignoring a bit of fumbling in the early goings, he was pleased with his team’s performance.

“It was good to see us respond after giving up an early touchdown,” McLendon said.

“I thought our guys played well.  Defense only really gave up one touchdown, and that was kind of on the offense; we gave them a short field because of a turnover. 

But I thought our guys’ effort was good on both sides of the ball.  We had a few turnovers on offense that I didn’t like, but we cleaned those up.”

The Tigers’ defense, which only allowed 134 yards of total offense, set the tone for the afternoon. The defensive performance becomes all the more impressive considering Greenville is essentially starting from square-one.  A new defensive coordinator, David Bush, was hired just a short few months ago, who implemented an entirely new scheme for the defense.  Jemison’s quirky offense posed a challenge in its own right.

“The team we played came out and did some things that we weren’t expecting offensively, and that allowed us to make some adjustments and see how our kids would adjust to something that we really weren’t prepared for,” McLendon said. “I thought we did a good job of not panicking, making plays and tackling.”

Though offense and defense got several quality reps during Friday’s jamboree, special teams were handled differently.  Though teams lined up and kicked, they faced no opposition.  Due to the higher risk of injury during the special teams phase of the game, as well as other factors, McLendon said that he was happy with the way the jamboree handled it.

More importantly, facing an opponent different from themselves to end spring training held value within itself.

“By the third week, the kids are looking to hit somebody different,” McLendon said. “I thought it was good that we were able to play an opponent that we had never played before, and was a good playoff team from last year. 

“It gave us a lot of good film, it showed us a lot of things we need to work on and, more than anything, it gives us a good end to spring and gets us ready for summer workouts.”

Greenville finished with 261 yards of total offense in three quarters, including 161 passing yards and 102 rushing yards

The Tigers offense mounted three rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns, while the defense forced three turnovers and five sacks.