McKenzie Tigers edged by Fruitdale 6#110;2

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 13, 2003

A defensive battle doesn't accurately describe McKenzie High School's Class 1A, Region 1 contest with Fruitdale Friday night.

War does.

The Pirates (1n2, 1n1) robbed the winless Tigers (0n3, 0n2) after what would have been the gamenwinning touchdown was called back for holding with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game. Fruitdale came away victor for the first time in two seasons, 6n2.

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"It was a war, a defensive battle," FHS head coach Gary Prentiss said. "Neither team could get things going on offense."

McKenzie scored its only points of the game on an errant snap over Fruitdale's punter's head with 10:15 remaining until halftime. The Pirates bounced back marching 44 yards for the score. Fullback A.J. Henderson bulled his way in from 1nyard out to put FHS up for good.

Both teams couldn't muster up enough on offense throughout the second half to put any more points on the board. With less than two minutes to play, McKenzie drove down the field and scored when Satrick Rudolph connected with Russell Davison on a 40nyard pass for the go ahead score. A holding penalty reversed the touchdown.

The Tigers attempted to reach the end zone a couple of more times, but did not succeed. Davison hauled in a 30nyard pass, but fell 10 yards short of the score and the win.

"We made some crucial errors," MHS firstnyear head coach Scott Curd said. "Offensively we couldn't put anything together and get anything going. We couldn't get any pass protection. Defensively we played well enough to win, but offensively we've got to get it going."

McKenzie finished the evening with 148nyards rushing on 28 attempts and were led by Davison, who had 51 yards. The Tigers also were 3nofn11 passing for 56 yards and had nine penalties for 45 yards.

Fruitdale's backs carried the ball 47 times for 172 yards led by Shuniko Brown with 94 yards. The Pirates were 3nofn13 passing for 61 yards and committed seven penalties for 50 yards.

McKenzie will travel next Friday night to take on Millry. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.