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Tigers hold off Hancock Central

September 17, 2021 - 01:00
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    PHOTO/Justin Hubbard

Greene County (2-1) was able to hold off a late offensive push by rival Hancock Central (0-2) for a 16-14 victory on Friday night.

It was the second consecutive win for the Tigers, who beat Twiggs County the week before in a high-scoring affair.

Greene County head coach Larry Milligan pointed out that his team shouldn’t have been in that situation so late in the game.

“I felt like we really left a lot of points on the board,” Milligan said. “Specifically in the first half, we had a touchdown called back on a holding call. We also had another drive stopped due to penalties, so worst-case scenario, we should have been up at least 28-0 at the half.”

Greene County led 7-0 entering the 20-minute intermission. The Tigers were able to get a safety in the third quarter on a blocked punt and add another touchdown in the fourth quarter to go up 16-0. That’s when the Hancock Central scored 14 unanswered points to make it a close game.

“We never could put together a sustained offensive drive in the second half,” Milligan said. “We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. Then, our defense gave up a couple of explosive plays, which really shouldn’t have happened. However, we battled until the end and got the win.”

Milligan acknowledged that it was the most “complete team game” up to this point in the season.

“The offense got in our power formation and ran the ball down their throats during the two touchdown drives,” Milligan said. “Our defense gave us some great field position during those drives. We also did have some great plays on special teams, too. Quay Burdette, who is the punter, pinned Hancock inside their own 20-yard line twice in the game. He kept us out of a lot of trouble.”

Milligan compared the win over Hancock Central to the Twiggs County game the week before.

“We should have won that game by a lot,” he added. “We are really close to being a good football team, but we just need to figure out the mistakes and turnovers. I definitely feel like it’s going to come.”

Greene County’s win over Hancock Central was huge, especially considering it avenged a 42-3 loss, which occurred in 2020.

“I want our kids to enjoy the win because Hancock (Central) is a rival,” Milligan said. “It’s such a tough, physical test for both teams every year. So, they deserve to celebrate because they fought hard. We just need to cut out the mental and physical mistakes moving forward.”

Greene County will face Jasper County next week on the road. The Canes have consecutive losses to Putnam County (69-0) and Morgan County (34-6) and will be looking to catch the Tigers off guard.

Milligan added that his team is not going to get complacent after two consecutive victories.

“Jasper County is a very senior-led team,” Milligan said. “I think of their defense, they’ve got two underclassmen, so the rest of that unit is experienced. They are probably just trying to realize how to make it click, and are probably licking their chops thinking of what they did to us last year.”

The Canes got the better of the Tigers last season with a 30-6 win in Greensboro.

“We are really just trying to work on us and at the same time trying to cut down on our mistakes,” Milligan said. “The goal isn’t to out-scheme the Canes, but rather come out a little bit more polished. We are really on the verge of reaching our potential, but need to keep working on improving.”