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Tigers trounce McAdory in near-shutout

For 59 minutes and 55 seconds, the Greenville Tigers had their first shutout of the season in the books. But a late-game hail mary wasn’t enough to stem the Tiger tide as Greenville held on to a 12-6 win over the Class 6A McAdory Yellow Jackets.

Four Greenville interceptions served as the foundation for defensive dominance that dictated all but the final few seconds of play.

Though the Tiger offense struggled early, the field position battle was eventually won in the second as Greenville created plays in open space to escape their own red zone.

A 40-yard throw from quarterback Javion Posey to receiver Jeremiah Owens cemented the Tigers’ momentum and put Greenville ahead 6-0 with 15 seconds left in the first half.

Though the Tiger offense punctuated the first half with an exclamation point, Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that it was his defense that impressed him most.

“Defense played great and held them in check all night,” he said.  “We had several key sacks, including two from Tyland Simpson, and Jeremiah Owens had some big tackles for a loss.”

The Tigers passing game continued to flourish in the second half as Posey found receiver Randy Rudolph on a 35-yard strike that took Greenville down to McAdory’s 25-yard line.

Another deep ball from Posey to receiver Malik Bunch for the team’s second and final touchdown to go up 12-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth.

McLendon added that Thursday night’s win was a victory in all each phase of the game.

“Defensively, we played really well,” he said. “Offensively, we played well enough when we needed to. It’s always tough to go on the road, especially when you step up in classification, and I was proud of the way our guys played.”

“I feel like in the last month, we’ve played some really good football.  We had a little hiccup over in Carroll last week, but I feel that we were playing well enough to win that game.  Hopefully, this is setting us up for a good playoff run.”

The Tigers’ first-round opponent has enjoyed a similar hot streak.

Since suffering their first and only loss to Greenville in the season opener, the Beauregard Hornets haven’t come remotely close to losing a second game.  Their smallest margin of victory is 26 points, as they’ve run over each opponent toward their No. 1 seed regional ranking.

McLendon said that there’s a clear reason why.

“They’re a really good football team, and they’ve probably got the best running back in the state in Class 1A through 7A,” McLendon said. “He’s just a very, very special player. 

“It’s going to be tough to stop him, but we’ve just got to go up there and do what we’ve always done, which is play hard and not shoot ourselves in the foot.  We can’t afford to do that.  Anything can happen once you get in the playoffs—it doesn’t matter what round it is.  We understand that it’s a one-game season now, and that’s how we’ll treat it.”

The Tigers travel to Beauregard Friday for the first round of playoff play.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.