McKenzie downs Frisco City, 27-26

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 8, 2001

McKenzie’s new head coach has done it again – led his Tigers to another super-charged victory, this time in a regional game against the Frisco City Whippets.

Shane Smothers has instilled in his team the idea that they control their own destiny, and more importantly, he regularly makes them feel as if they are cared about.

In Friday night’s game in McKenzie, the beginning looked a little scary for the Tigers, when they fumbled the first kickoff, losing it to the Whippets.

Seven drives later, the Whippets scored a touchdown, but failed on the extra point attempt, making the score 6-0, Frisco City. But McKenzie was determined not to falter, and Quarterback Rickie Sallie retaliated with a 48-yard option play, to tie the game at 6-6, and the Tigers’ PAT was no good.

In the second quarter, Sallie scored a touchdown on a 30-yard pass/scramble play, and was followed by Russell Davison stepping up with the PAT, making the score 13-6 McKenzie.

Then before the halftime break, the Whippets scored a touchdown, and going for the tie-breaking conversion, they attempted the two-pointer.

This was ill-fated, when the pass was intercepted by Davison, giving the Tigers possession again, and the score was 13-12 McKenzie.

Although following the interception the ball was dead, Davison, not hearing the whistle, carried the ball like a flash, going 95 yards, with five Whippet players huffing for breath behind him, for what would have been a touchdown if the ball were still live.

Next, on a kickoff return, the Whippets were held back by the Tigers on downs, forcing them to punt the ball.

At the half, the score was locked in on the board at 13-12, Tigers. After the halftime break, Sallie passed the ball to Chad Posey, who ran the ball in 28 yards for the TD.

Davison stepped up for the PAT, and the score was 20-12, McKenzie. In the fourth quarter, the Whippets went into a Triple-Eye play and scored a touchdown, making the score 20-18, Tigers.

Then, in an unfortunate turn of events with 4:35 left in the game, the Whippets managed to score off of a tackle during the conversion attempt, and the game was tied at 20-all. The Tigers, got the ball off of a punt return, and Patrick Hamilton ran it 65 yards in an eight-carry-drive, punching the ball in for the TD on a 21-yard run. Davison again made the PAT, and the score was now 27-20. Following the kickoff the Whippets drove the ball, and drove the ball, and then drove it some more, and in what Smothers called a &uot;halfback pass&uot; they scored on a fourth down, 28-yard pass, making the score a hair-splitting 27-26, McKenzie, with :44 left in the game.

Going for the win instead of the tie, Frisco City tried for the two-pointer but failed to get it in, when their quarterback was sacked for a 6-yard loss on the conversion attempt.

The Whippets then tried an offside kick, but the Tigers nailed it, and one kneel-down later the clock ran out, giving the Tigers victory number two for the season, in just week two.

&uot;This was a phenomenal game,&uot; Smothers said. &uot;We did this without the advantage of preview films. We sent a tape to Frisco City from our Georgiana game last week, but they did not send us one in return, so we could not see how they would play.&uot;

Smothers said the key to the Tigers success is their understanding that doing the right things pays off.

&uot;They know that as long as they continue doing the right things, they can keep expecting good things to happen – and they are tremendously psyched this season, because they now are seeing that they can accomplish their goals, if they set their minds to it,&uot; he said.

Smothers said he showed them an innovative tactic that keeps the opposition wearing down fast.

&uot;We wear our opponents down by playing ‘no huddle’ offense – it seems that they have never seen that before, and it keeps their defense strung out and hopping,&uot; he said.

&uot;This was our first area game, and I want the team to know that if they continue, only good things will continue to occur, and like I told them in the beginning of the season, their parents should reserve their playoff tickets now!&uot;

McKenzie will prepare during the next week for regional game number two, when they travel to Fruitdale to face the Pirates.