Greenville captures first win of season
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005
Greenville's stout defensive unit kept the Tigers in the game long enough to allow their offense to make two fourth quarter game-breaking plays for an 8-6 win over Booker T. Washington Friday night in Tiger Stadium.
Greenville head coach Mike Williams was proud of the team's effort in this dramatic come from behind win.
”Bottom lineŠI am so proud of these kids and there is no quit in them.
They fought extremely hard for this win tonight,“ Williams said.
Williams' first win as GHS head coach could be considered a classic when it is said and done.
The Tigers ended a winless drought that dated back to Oct. 22 of last year.
”Our defense had its back against the wall the whole game but it didn't break,“ Williams stated.
”As for the offense, they kept fighting until they reached that end zone.“
The offense reached the end zone in dramatic fashion.
After trailing 6-0 since an 18-yard TD reception by the Golden Eagles Darius Gulette on their opening drive, the Tigers tied the score on a 24-yard catch by Isiah Mack with 8:31 left in the contest.
GHS QB Lynn Lewis threw the strike with perfect precision.
”Our staff recognized one on one situations out there with certain receivers.
So we put them in position to make this play and it worked,“ Williams said.
With the game all knotted up at 6 apiece, the crowd was roaring with approval.
The band chimed in as the Tigers set up for the extra point attempt.
However, to Booker T. Washington's surprise, Greenville faked the extra point as Lewis dove in on a two-point conversion.
”It was a called play and it was executed well,“ Williams said.
With the Tigers up 8-6 with eight minutes remaining, the Golden Eagles tried to respond on offense.
The result was a three and out offensive series.
GHS Ricky McCall highlighted the series as he broke though the line and sacked Booker T. Washington QB Nathan Sims on a key down.
”We had our best night of tackling and we were physical out there,“ Williams said.
The Tiger offense then took over at the their 49-yard line with 7:05 remaining.
The offense was able to keep the clock running and as a result, put the Golden Eagles in a bind.
GHS' Rashad Knight kept the drive going as he made an impressive 29-yard catch at their opponent's 22-yard line.
Knight was double-teamed but out jumped both defenders to snag the pigskin.
”That was a well executed play,“ Williams said.
The Tigers' offense eventually halted but were successful in putting Booker T. Washington deep in their own territory in addition to burning the clock.
In dramatic fashion, the Golden Eagles drove down the field and found themselves in scoring position with just over a minute remaining in the game.
With 1:18 left, Booker's Sims found his receiver Darious Gulette on a 24-yard TD strike in the end zone.
However, the Golden Eagles dramatic go ahead score would not go down in history books as their offensive line was called for holding.
The Tiger crowd erupted.
After the penalty was marched off, Booker T. Washington went to the air again but the Tigers Lynn Lewis made the game winning interception near the end zone.
”That was a great feeling,“ Williams said.
”We had some new faces step up tonight to help us win,“ Williams said.
”They are gaining valuable playing experience and that will help us down the road.“
On defense, freshman defensive lineman Jamontay Pilson led with 6 tackles including one sack.
Sophomore cornerback Michael Johnson had a TD saving interception and TD saving deflection on back-to-back plays in the second half.
On offense, junior tailback Robert Phifer Jr. had 23 yards rushing and sophomore Reco Johnson had 24 yards on the ground.
Tiger QB Lewis completed three of six passes for 53 yards and one TD.
Williams had his final thoughts on the dramatic win.
”We burned the midnight oil all year long to figure out how to be successful,“ Williams said, ”and it paid off tonight.“
”It takes time to build a solid program, but we took that first step tonight.“
Greenville looks to build onto the program next Friday as they travel to Russell County.