Kirkland: McKenzie taking step in right direction

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

McKenzie coach David Kirkland doesn't usually like to look for shallow wins.

But when the Tigers scored their first points of the season in a 21-6 setback to Goshen, he looked as that being a step in the right direction.

"We're getting better," he said. "We're showing signs each week of improving."

The Tigers (0-3) got another shot of confidence on Monday when its junior varsity team, which makes up the majority of the McKenzie varsity, netted a 36-6 victory over Florala.

"The need some experience, and they needed something positive to happen for them," he said. "I'm hoping that positive effect will carry over to Friday night."

The Tigers face a winless Zion Chapel team that has been outscored 135-13 in its last three games. The Rebels were throttled by Brantley 39-7.

"I hope my guys are hungry," Kirkland said. "They got a lot better last week compared to the week before, so I think we're going to spoil some people's homecomings this year."

The Tigers are now working with a two-quarterback system since Jake Page suffered an elbow injury to his throwing arm.

With Page questionable at times last week against Goshen, Chance Davis came in relief.

"Page didn't practice all week last week, so Chance Davis really stepped up for us," Kirkland said. "So we could see them share time at quarterback this Friday."

Davis and Page may be called upon to put the ball in the air on Friday, Kirkland said. He expects Zion Chapel to load up along the defensive front to force the Tigers to put the ball in the air.

"That may work against them, too," he said. "I feel like that plays into our hands since we have better skill players than they do."

McKenzie will have to eliminate turnovers in order to have a chance though, Kirkland said.

The Tigers allowed an interception to be returned 63 yards for a touchdown to put the game on ice for Goshen last week before McKenzie hit paydirt for the first time this season.

Gary Cobb rolled into the end zone from 4 yards out with 20 seconds left in the game.