Vincent trying to keep playoff-bound Tigers focused

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bryant Vincent said he was going to bring it back.

The Greenville head coach said it was his goal to make the playoffs this year, not in a few years.

And his team has done just that.

After holding on to victory Friday night against Tallassee, 28-27, the Tigers secured a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs.

A win Friday night at Carroll-Ozark coupled with a win against Charles Henderson and the Tigers will not only be in the playoffs for the first time in three years, but the Tigers will have home-field advantage in the first round.

&#8220It's a tremendous position to be in,” Vincent said of the opportunity to host the first round. &#8220I've told our players you've already accomplished one of our goals, now you've got to finish.”

Although the Tigers took the victory Friday night, Vincent said they didn't finish like they need to.

&#8220We didn't play with the intensity and determination we've played with earlier in the year,” Vincent said. &#8220We just had a bad game.”

During the game, Vincent suspended nine players for disciplinary reasons and attributed the letdown to the recent fall break.

&#8220I just knew we were due for a letdown,” Vincent said. &#8220And fall break is the worst thing that can happen to a football team.”

In fact, Vincent said in this his eighth year of coaching, this is the only year his team has won a game during fall break.

Going into this week's game, the team is still trying to regain its focus as Vincent had the entire offense running during Monday's practice for their lack of focus.

This week's opponent, the Carroll Eagles, have a lot of speed according to Vincent and the Greenville defense must be able to contain the Carroll running game.

Carroll head coach Ronnie Cottrell has been an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida State University and the University of Alabama, but got back into high school coaching after leaving Alabama in the wake of the Albert Means scandal.

The Eagles have struggled this season, including a 42-6 loss to Eufaula last week, and nothing could be bigger for Cottrell's program than beating a Top 10 team.

&#8220Our seniors have never beaten Carroll or (Charles Henderson), and that is something I want to keep reminding them,” Vincent said.

Kickoff for Friday night's game at Carroll in Ozark is scheduled for 7 p.m.