Injuries sink Greenville as Tigers fall to Charles Henderson 27-24

Published 12:26 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

An improvised Greenville offense without its leading quarterback, Javion Posey, weathered fumbles, interceptions and other misfortunes Friday night, but ultimately fell just an onside kick attempt shy of victory as the visiting Charles Henderson Trojans held on to a 27-24 win.

But the Tigers struck first after trading three-and-outs with the Trojans, thanks mostly to excellent field position on the Trojans’ 39-yard line.

Though Javion Posey would eventually leave the game permanently later in the first half, he made a significant mark early on as he stiff-armed his way into the red zone, setting up running back Arrick Boggan for a 6-yard touchdown run.

The Greenville offense would find decidedly less success on its ensuing drive, however, as the Trojans recovered a high-sailing snap in the Tigers’ own end zone for a touchdown.  A Charles Henderson PAT narrowed the Tigers lead to 8-7 at the end of the first.

The Trojans offense came alive with the momentum of the defensive touchdown, led by a series of powerful runs from running back Jared Wilson that marched the Trojans on a lengthy drive punctuated by a Wilson spin move into the end zone to gain a 14-8 lead.

The Greenville defense would soon return the favor after a crucial Trojans fumble gave the Tigers the ball on Charles Henderson’s own 28-yard line.

Backup quarterback/defensive back Bishop Riley streaked down the sideline on a 28-yard quarterback keeper to regain the Tigers’ lead 16-14.

Though the Tigers’ defense stopped the Trojans’ following drive, a costly roughing the kicker penalty erased a third-and-long scenario, giving Wilson an opportunity to barrel through the Tigers front line for another Trojans score, putting them up once again 20-16.

Trojan cornerback Chance Pollard very nearly delivered the dagger by intercepting an underthrown trick pass with 3:27 remaining.  Wilson stiff-armed his way into the end zone to give the Trojans their biggest lead of the night, 27-16, with only 1:31 left in the game.

But a miraculous 80-yard kickoff return from Tyler Lewis set the stage for a 10-yard touchdown run from Bishop Riley in a possession that only took 28 seconds off the clock.  The lead was cut to just 3 with 1:03 remaining.

The Trojans secured the ensuing onside kick attempt, however, as time withered away alongside the Tigers’ chances at victory.

Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that, despite the multitude of disasters that plagued the Tigers—ranging from injuries to costly penalties and turnovers—he was proud of his team’s effort.

“Obviously, losing our quarterback getting hurt in the first half is a big blow, but we had to fight to overcome that.  And I thought we really did,” McLendon said. “I thought our kids played extremely hard.  We kind of ran a makeshift offense with who we had back there, and he did a heck of a job.

“That was Bishop’s first reps at quarterback.  We just put an athlete back there, tried to get the ball in his hands and let him make some plays.  We had a chance to win.  We did an onside kick, and who knows.  It’s just one of those things where it didn’t go our way tonight.  We can’t let this dictate the rest of our season.  We’re going to come back to work on Sunday, and we’ll correct what we need to correct.”

The Tigers hit the road for its second region game of the year against the 3-1 Rehobeth Rebels.