Greenville grounds Eagles, 26-14

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Greenville Tigers moved one step closer to hosting the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs Friday night with a 26-14 win over the Carroll Eagles.

Although the Tigers were able to dominate the Eagles on both sides of the ball, many penalties were called on Greenville, eliminating several crucial plays.

The Tigers were penalized 25 times while Carroll was only flagged four times.

At the half, Carroll head coach and former University of Alabama assistant Ronnie Cottrell apologized to Greenville head coach Bryant Vincent for the poor officiating.

&#8220The officiating in this game was the worst I have ever been a part of in my coaching career,” Vincent said.

Beyond the poor officiating, Vincent had much praise for his team, especially his defense.

Kelcius Pate had a huge night for the Tigers, finishing with eight tackles, while junior Akeva Owens stepped up big for defensive coordinator Ernest Hill's defense.

&#8220Akeva Owens had a tremendous game,” Vincent said. &#8220He has gotten better every week and has become a force on the defensive line.”

Offensively for the Tigers, junior quarterback Casey Weston was 8-of-9 for 133 yards in the first half, but failed to complete any of his nine pass attempts in the second half.

On the ground Weston finished with 64 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns, including runs of 15, three and four yards.

Senior running back Brandon Cheatham also had a big night, rushing 20 times for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Senior Lynn Lewis was the team's leading receiver with four catches for 100 yards. Lewis also had an interception for the Greenville defense.

Traves Yelder and Michael Peagler also had several big catches for the Greenville offense.

The Tigers return to action Friday night to host the region rival Charles Henderson Trojans at Tiger Stadium.

The winner of Friday night's game will have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Friday night is the final home game of the regular season and senior night for the Tigers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.