BY SHEA ODOM
The Greenville Standard
The McKenzie Tigers officially began their football season with a big win against the Wilcox Central Jaguars at Williams Vickery field, 47-28, under the Friday night lights.
The Tigers kicked off and Wilcox made a fast run down field for yardage but McKenzie quickly answered.
Skyler Sanders intercepted for the Tigers. Then Jay Jackson and Tray Rudolph make their way to the red zone for McKenzie but the ball was turned over on third and goal.
The Tigers defense would not quit after the Jaguars drove the field and Jackson forced a turnover on the goal line and returned the ball to the 24-yard line.
The offense stormed down field as Jayden McMillian made an impressive run to the red zone, along with Jonathan Davison.
Sanders received a quick pass and carried straight to the end zone for a Tiger touchdown and put McKenzie first points on the scoreboard for the evening. The Tigers lead 7-0 in the first quarter.
Both McKenzie and Wilcox battled for the remainder of the first and second quarter for the lead. The first half closed as Sanders broke the plane at the sound of the buzzer. The Tigers led 19-13 at halftime.
McKenzie returned from halftime to receive the ball and Jackson make a long run to the 28-yard line.
After yardage was gained by Rudolph and McMillian, Jackson was able to cross in to the end zone for yet another Tiger touchdown, widening the gap early in the third quarter for a 26-13 lead.
McKenzie and Wilcox continued to make powerful runs and plays throughout the last quarter. The Tigers added to the lead and the Jaguars could not close the gap.
McKenzie made some noticeable adjustments making it tough for the Jaguars defense to adjust and adapt with several long yardage runs by McMillian, Rudolph, and Davison.
Just as impressive was several long pass runs by Jackson and Sanders.
The well-coached, well-disciplined Tigers offense and defense took the win from the fast tempo Jaguars and clinched the season opener win.
McKenzie will travel to Georgiana Friday night for the Battle of Eight Mile at 7 p.m.