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Tigers topple defending state champs

Greenville High School opened its 2017 campaign Friday night by knocking off defending Class 5A state champion Beauregard High School 34-31 at Hornet Stadium in Opelika.

The Tigers (1-0) got four rushing touchdowns from signal caller Javion Posey. The 6-foot, 190-pound junior had two 5-yard touchdown runs and a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs to help Greenville avenge last season’s 39-13 loss to the Hornets (0-1).

After falling behind 13-8, the Tigers captured the lead for good with 2:49 remaining in the game’s opening half when Posey leaped into the end zone from a yard out to take a 14-13 lead.

The Tigers extended their lead with a scoring drive that ate up 6:49 of the third quarter. Posey capped the drive with his second 1-yard run of the contest. He then found senior wide receiver Malik Bunch in the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 22-13 lead with 5:11 to play in the third quarter.

The Hornets quickly answered with a score of their own to trim the Tigers’ lead to just three points, but junior kick returner Bishop Riley gave Greenville a little breathing room with a 70-yard touchdown on the ensuing kick. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

However, the Tigers once again saw their cushion shrink as the Hornets added their second touchdown of the third stanza with 1:49 to play to cut the lead to 28-25.

Posey added his final touchdown of the night, another 5-yard scamper, to put the Tigers up 34-25 with less than a minute to play.

The Hornets, who entered the game on an 8-game winning streak, refused to go quietly into the night. With just 15 seconds left to play, the scored a touchdown to draw to within three points of the Tigers.

The Tigers, along with everyone in the stadium, knew what was coming next — an onside kick attempt. Still, the defending champs were able to recover the kick at the GHS 32-yard line. The Hornets took two shots at the end zone, but were unable to score on the Tiger defense in the final 15 seconds as Greenville held on for the win.

For the Tigers, the win snapped a three-game losing streak dating back to last season.

Greenville will be off next week before squaring off with Class 5A, Region 2 rival Charles Henderson High School at Tiger Stadium on Sept. 15.