BY SHEA ODOM
The Greenville Standard
The McKenzie Tigers hosted the black and gold Red Level Tigers under the lights of Williams-Vickery Field for an energetic match.
Red Level put up a fight but McKenzie eventually pulled away the victor with the 40-19 win.
In first quarter action, the first seven minutes were a stalemate with neither team able to score.
At the 5:10 mark, Red Level took advantage of a turnover on downs by McKenzie to find the end zone and take a 6-0 lead.
Undaunted, the McKenzie offense returned to the field charged and ready. Skylar Sanders grabbed a long pass and headed straight to touchdown territory to tie the score. The following point after attempt (PAT) failed and it was 6-6 with 3:07 left in the first quarter.
On Red Level’s next possession, McKenzie’s Jayden McMillian forced a fumble and Clayton Martin recovered and scored. The two point conversion failed but McKenzie led 12-6 late in the first quarter.
Red Level answered quickly scoring a touchdown. After a successful PAT, they led McKenzie 13-12 with 1:13 in the first quarter.
The second quarter proved to be just as nail biting as the first quarter. McKenzie’s Rand Odom recovered a fumble for McKenzie that Johnathan Davison would later hustle to the end zone for a touchdown late in the second quarter, not once but twice.
McKenzie would close the first half leading Red Level 34-19.
Both Tiger teams returned from halftime ready for a second half battle. Red Level opened with a recovered onside kick at midfield.
About midway through the third quarter, McKenzie quarterback Jaylen McMillian through a long pass to Sanders deep to the red zone.
With a first and goal, McMillian zipped to the end zone giving McKenzie a 40-19 lead with 5:44 in the third quarter.
With the win, the McKenzie Tigers are now 3-2 overall and 2-2 in AHSAA 1A Region 2 play.
They have an open week this Friday but will travel to face the gold and white Bulldogs of J.U. Blacksher on Oct. 6.