Greenville bounces Selma 41-6 in first loss

Published 6:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2009

SELMA — Greenville football coach Ben Blackmon wanted to get his Tigers’ running game established because of the on-and-off showers Friday night at Memorial Field.

The Class 5A No. 8-ranked Tigers used the running game so well, they ran all over Selma 41-6 to hand the Saints their first loss of the season.

Blackmon, who was surprised by the final score, said he wasn’t ignoring his squad’s aerial attack.

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“I feel like we could throw on them,” Blackmon said of his Tigers (4-0). “But with the situations we had to deal with tonight, we wanted to keep control of the clock.”

Selma coach Foster Davis watched his team (3-1) go 46 minutes before scoring. With leading rusher Eddie Johnson out with the flu and LSU recruit Dexter Blackmon injured before halftime, Selma got the brunt of what the Saints had been delivering so far this year.

“It was tough playing tonight,” Davis said. Because of the lopsided score, “we had our backs against the wall. We kept catching licks; not giving licks, catching them.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” he said.

Selma had opened the season 3-0, allowing only six points per game on defense. Friday night’s game was an eye-opener.

“We needed to have a test like that,” Davis said.

A wakeup call?

“I hope so,” Davis said.

“I didn’t think the final score would be like this, absolutely not,” Blackmon said. “Selma has a good club. Not having all their players hurt them.”

Greenville has one blue-chipper on each of the football — three-year starting quarterback Ryan Smith and Auburn recruit defensive tackle Kenneth Carter.

Junior running back Jay Johnson got Greenville’s first touchdown, ending a six-play, 53-yard drive with a 3-yard run with 3:51 on the clock in the first quarter. Stewart Moody’s PAT put the Tigers up 7-0.

Smith and senior running back Cordez Peagler combined for the second score. From the Tigers’ 28-yard line, Smith rushed for 33 yards and Peagler for 38 yards, with Smith’s 2-yard keeper for the touchdown at the 3:22 mark. The eight-play, 72-yard drive ended with Moody’s PAT kick for a 14-0 halftime lead for Greenville.

Greenville set Selma back on its heels in the third quarter with two scores — an 8-yard run over left tackle by Jamal Hamilton, ending a five-play, 72-yard drive in less than two minutes; and an eight-play, 77-yard drive capped by Peagler’s 3-yard run with 2:37 left in the third quarter.

Then Greenville got serious in the fourth quarter, scoring two more scores (a 1-yard keeper by Smith and a 10-yard run by second-string quarterback Kent Riley) for the 41-0 lead.

Selma got its points with 1:57 to play when sophomore quarterback Darion Alexander connected with senior Johnathan Harris across the middle from left to right from 9 yards out.

The Saints snagged the ensuing onside kick and had a clear field for a touchdown, but the referee had not put the ball in play. So the next onside attempt was unsuccessful.

Greenville, now 3-0 in Class 5A, Region 3 action, goes on the road to non-district opponent Andalusia next week. Selma, 2-1 in region play, hosts LeFlore.