BY SHEA ODOM
The Greenville Standard
The McKenzie Tigers hosted the Kinston Bulldogs in regional play at Williams-Vickery Field under the small town Friday night lights, Oct. 8. The Bulldogs put up a hard fight, but ultimately fell to the Tigers 26-15.
McKenzie won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. The Tigers capitalized early in the first quarter racking up yardage and being the first to score by junior, Kamern “Bo” Daniels, with a good point after try (PAT). McKenzie led 7-0.
The Bulldogs gained possession of the ball hoping to quickly answer the Tigers touchdown. Following multiple off-side penalties on McKenzie, Kinston reached the end zone for a touchdown and good PAT.
The Bulldogs tied the score with 49 seconds left in the first quarter. Kinston closed the first quarter with a recovered Bulldog onside kick on the 41-yard line.
The Tiger defense made a hard attempt at stopping the Kinston offense, but the Bulldogs recovered a McKenzie fumble. Kinston attempted a field goal but missed with a wide left kick.
The Tiger offense regained possession of the ball and quickly found the red zone. Daniels made a 62-yard run for a touchdown with 6:05 on the clock in the second quarter. The Tigers complete the PAT taking the lead 14-7.
Tiger junior, Logan Odom, recovered a Bulldog fumble on the 3-yard line but McKenzie was unable to navigate to the red zone. The Tigers led 14-7 at the close of the first half.
The Bulldogs opened the first half with a quick four and out. McKenzie senior, Nathan Creel, carried for 15 yards, paving the way to red zone territory. Tiger sophomore, Tray Rudolph rushed for another McKenzie touchdown with 8:26 on the clock. The PAT was no good and the Tigers led 20-7.
McKenzie offense stormed the field once again, commanding the crowd to their feet as sophomore, Jayden McMillian, scored another Tiger touchdown for a 78-yard rush. The PAT was no good but the Tigers widened the gap and led the Bulldogs 26-7 with 8:42 left to play in the game.
Kinston made one hard push to the end zone following a long run bringing the Bulldogs to 26-15 with 15 seconds left to play. The
The Tigers secured the regional win at the sound of the buzzer ending the Kinston Bulldogs four straight win streak against McKenzie since 2010.
The 4-3 McKenzie Tigers will travel to meet the 3-4 Florala Wildcats for an important region game this Friday night with a 7 p.m. kickoff in Wildcat territory.