McKenzie football does well at camp

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2004

McKenzie School’s new head football coach David Kirkland is getting a good look this week at what he’s to expect this football season.

He likes what he sees.

The Tigers have been competing in the Florala 7-on-7 passing camp this week in efforts to get ahead of the game before Aug. 2 when football practice officially begins.

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&uot;I was really impressed,&uot; Kirkland said. &uot;They came together real well. They’re going to struggle offensively because they are trying to get used to my system, but defensively we held Andalusia to two scores in 16 plays.&uot;

McKenzie finished with a 2-2 record on Monday with a 15-14 loss to Andalusia, a 14-6 win over Pleasant Home, a 6-0 loss to Houston Academy and a 12-10 win over Freeport, Fla.

&uot;They’re very hungry and want to win,&uot; Kirkland said. &uot;They are winners, they just have really had a let down. I feel like these guys are really going to come around.&uot;

Each team played 16 plays on offense and 16 plays on defense, which were broken up in 8-play quarters. The quarters began at the 45-yard line and started over if a team scored before they used up their eight plays.

&uot;I would say that we had five or six interceptions and seven or so passes that we batted down,&uot; Kirkland said. &uot;We hustled around the ball real well. Offensively, we had a couple of players that caught the ball real well. David Davidson, who’s going to be a senior, is going to have to be a leader for this football team.&uot;

The standouts for McKenzie on Monday were Satrick Rudolph, who caught two touchdown passes and Curtis Ball, who scored on a 45-yard slant route against Andalusia.

Kirkland said his two quarterbacks had good days as well.

&uot;Jonathon Bush and Satrick both finished with around a 50 percent completion rate,&uot; Kirkland said. &uot;A lot of that was either dropped passes or passes that were batted down. We did give up a couple of interceptions because of the defense tipping the ball and somebody else catching it. In those four games, I would say we gave up four interceptions.&uot;

The Tigers’ early success in the camp has Kirkland optimistic of the upcoming season. He believes McKenzie will do well this season as long as the players work hard.

&uot;I’m as excited as I can be,&uot; Kirkland said. &uot;I didn’t know how these guys would handle the pressure of going down there and playing bigger schools, but they did just fine. They rallied around one another and were enthusiastic. It was a building block. We’re going to do fine. We’re going to work hard during this couple of weeks before practice starts and when practice starts we’re going to work even harder. We’re going to try to get better each week and take it one day at a time.&uot;