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Tigers learn from jamboree, look to Blacksher

A week after facing off against Spanish Fort in a preseason jamboree, the McKenzie Tigers open their season with the J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs.

&uot;We learned a lot from the jamboree,&uot; said head coach Miles Brown. &uot;We’ve worked on everything from ball security to blocking assignments to defensive assignments and techniques.&uot;

The game against J.U. Blacksher also means something to the Tiger players, Brown said.

Last year, McKenzie lost 18-14 in a game that came down to the wire.

&uot;I think coach Sheehan does a great job down there,&uot; Brown said. &uot;It’s nothing personal against them.&uot;

&uot;When they beat us last year in the first game, it changed their whole season,&uot; Brown continued. &uot;They made it into the playoffs and finished second in the region.&uot;

Defensively, the Tigers will have to prepare for a strong running attack.

&uot;They’re a running football team,&uot; Brown said. &uot;They’ve got a good fullback in Isaac Nichols.

He’s a real hard runner and a load to bring down.&uot;

The Bulldogs also have some strength on the offensive line to provide a push for their runners.

&uot;They’ve got Josh Chavis on the line,&uot; Brown said.

Chavis and Nichols will also see playing time on the defensive side of the ball.

&uot;Those are both good linebackers, too, so they’ll be clogging up the middle a bit on us,&uot; Brown said.

Brown also said the team is motivated after having a good showing against Spanish Fort.

&uot;Our kids didn’t back down one bit, and I was impressed with them as they came out at halftime to score,&uot; Brown said. &uot;Our kids have a lot of fight to them.&uot;

&uot;We did well in a lot of areas - like kickoff returns when they got the ball kicked to them,&uot; Brown continued. &uot;There are just things that we have to do better on.&uot;