McKenzie breaks Georgiana#039;s winning streak with victory, 18-6

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 1, 2001

The McKenzie Tigers traveled to Georgiana on Friday night with one objective in mind n to beat Georgiana in the annual grudge match, and break the streak. During a heavy downpour and thunderstorm, that is exactly what they did.

Traveling south after the game, the victors with a final score of 18-6.

Beginning just three minutes into the first quarter, McKenzie scored their first touchdown by sheer determination.

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"I've been telling the team all along, it was time for them to make their own winning streak in the annual McKenzie-Georgiana game," said Tigers Head Coach Shane Smothers. "I told them if they wanted to win, they would have to show it n and that is what they did."

McKenzie senior quarterback Rickie Sallie led the way for the Tigers with 16 carries, gaining a total of 128 yards.

Secondary quarterback Eric Gomillion, this year a sophomore, was next in rushing, with 62 yards gained on four carries.

Patrick Hamilton was the top scorer for McKenzie, with the first touchdown coming from a two-yard pass, and his second from a five-yard pass.

Gomillion made the final score for the Tigers, when in the fourth quarter, he chose an option and ran 61 yards for the TD.

For Georgiana, runningback Latonia Johnson led the offense with 86 yards gained on 13 carries; Charles Curry was second with 50 yards rushing on seven carries.

McKenzie advanced the ball for a total of 281 yards, with four yards passing and 279 yards rushing.

The Tigers made 11 first downs, and sustained eight fumbles, losing four. They also had two punts for 62 yards.

The Tigers passed three of eight times, with one interception. They also had 11 penalties for a loss of 70 yards.

The Georgiana Panthers advanced a total of 170 yards, with 19 yards passing and 151 in rushing.

Making 11 first downs, the Panthers suffered 10 fumbles, losing six of them. Georgiana punted the ball once for 27 yards.

The Panthers passed seven of 10 times, with two interceptions. They also had nine penalties for 55 yards lost.

"Our game was really very exciting tonight," said Coach Smothers Friday night. "We have been working on stressing the teamwork' chemistry n it paid off."

Smothers said he was very impressed with his defense.

"Our defense executed plays exactly as we practiced," he said. "And early into the game, as the heavy rain began, we knew our offense was going to have to run the ball n our linemen all came through greatly.

"I told the team early in practice that we needed to get a win early in the season, and that is exactly what they strived for n this is the best motivator they could have, beating Georgiana for the first time in the last 10 meetings n that gives them 365 days of bragging rights, and a good feeling for them to have when they play Frisco City next week."

McKenzie will be at home next week to host Frisco City, and the Georgiana Panthers will host Barbour County High. Both games have 7:30 p.m. kickoff times.