TORI J. NORRIS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
The McKenzie Tigers knew as they entered their game Friday night against 3A Geneva, they would have to be aggressive from beginning to end. The Tigers proved they were “in it to win it” when they came out victorious with a 29-20 win.
The Tigers lost the coin toss resulting in kicking off to start the game. During the opening kickoff, Daniel Gaston stripped the ball from the Panthers and ran in it for an early Tigers touchdown giving the Tigers a lead of 6-0.
The Tigers returned to the defense and after a series of plays, Geneva scored making the game a close 7-6. The Tigers held the Panthers to four downs and got the ball back. After a series of plays, the Tigers kicked a field goal to take the score up to 9-7.
With 4:02 left on the clock in the first quarter, Chris Shufford recovered a Panthers fumble and took it into the endzone. William Brown followed the touchdown with a successful point after attempt giving the Tigers a 13-7 lead.
The Tigers continued to battle the Panthers during the second quarter and had the lead at the half 22-20.
During halftime, the Tigers defense made some adjustments to make sure the Panthers wouldn’t score. At the end of the third quarter, the score remained the same and the Tigers continued to pounce on defense and kept the Panthers scoreless for the remainder of the game. However, the Tigers wanted additional security and scored a touchdown with five minutes remaining on the clock with a 70-yard touchdown run by Shufford and another successful point after attempt by Brown.
“I told the team I was going to challenge them during the first two games,” said head coach Tony Norris.
“We still have a long way to go and we are not done by a long shot. We still have a lot to clean up on defense, offense and special teams, but at the end of the night we had more than they did and that is what counts.”
“We have Pleasant Home as our first region game, so now everything counts,” said Coach Norris.
“Pleasant Home is going to be a physical football team and Coach Mason does a great job with the kids down there. We can enjoy winning this past Friday night, but this will be a new game and we have to get back to work.”
The Tigers will travel to Pleasant Home on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.