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Tigers take down Blacksher, prepare for Bulldogs

The McKenzie Tigers are 5-0, but head coach Miles Brown said that doesn’t matter.

He said the Tigers have to focus on this week and not worry about records or who they’re playing in weeks to come.

“We’re starting this week with a new attitude,” Brown said. “This is like a new season.”

“We’ve decided to do something different and divide the season up into two separate seasons,” he continued. “We finished 5-0 in the first mini-season, but we’ve got to forget that and start working on the second one.”

Brown also made a reference to last season, which illustrates just how quickly things can change.

McKenzie also started last season 5-0 before finishing the season 1-4 due to injuries and several close losses.

First up for McKenzie in this new season are the Geneva County Bulldogs.

“They are a very good team, and they have some athletes that match up well with us,” Brown said. “They’re quarterback is really skilled and athletic.”

The Bulldogs come in with a 3-2 record, but that is slightly misleading.

Geneva County lost to Wicksburg in the season opener and to Cottonwood, who made it to the third round of the 2A playoffs last year.

“They may be the best team we’ve played so far this year,” Brown said.

The Tigers are also dealing with losing a day of rest because they played J.U. Blacksher on Saturday.

McKenzie came away with a 33-21 win in that game.

“We played well, but we only played three quarters of football,” Brown said. “We’ve got to play a complete game, and I don’t think we’ve done that all year.”

McKenzie led 21-0 at the end of the first half, but only 21-14 at halftime.

The first touchdown for the Tigers came on third down and long from their own 20-yard line.

Calvin Henderson hit Emmanuel Johnson on an 80-yard touchdown pass, and Tyler Bush added the extra point.

Henderson connected with Cliff Pugh for a four-yard touchdown pass a few minutes later, and the final score of the first quarter came from Henderson again hitting Johnson for a 13-yard touchdown pass.

Henderson went on to add the two-point conversion and put McKenzie up 21-0.

However, several defensive miscues gave Blacksher 14 points in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, Henderson hit Chuck Thompson for a 15-yard touchdown pass to make the score 27-14.

The final score for the Tigers came in the fourth quarter, when Henderson rolled to the right and hit Pugh for a 12-yard score.

Blacksher added a late touchdown, and the final score ended up 33-21.

Henderson finished the game 18-26 passing for 267, five touchdowns and an interception.

Kickoff for the game against Geneva County is set for 7 p.m. in McKenzie.