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Brantley blasts Tigers, 69-20

The McKenzie Tigers’ football team has come a long way under head football coach Miles Brown.

The verdict on Friday night against perennial powerhouse Brantley?

The Tigers still have a long way to go.

Running back Anthony Gulley rushed for five touchdowns – in the first half alone – and Devontay Porter added a pair of scores on the ground also as the No. 2 Bulldogs handed No. 6 McKenzie a 69-20 defeat at Williams-Vickery Field.

On a night when top-ranked Sweet Water was thrashing Georgiana 76-24 just eight miles up the road, the Bulldogs made a statement in Class 1A of their own, leading the Tigers 50-6 at halftime.

With just three games remaining in the season, Brantley can assuredly lay claim to its seventh consecutive region title with the victory over the Tigers.

Both teams came into the game undefeated, but it was the Bulldogs that took control of the game early as Gulley went 60 yards for a touchdown on just the third play of the game. The senior tailback followed with touchdown runs of 67 and 19 yards, and Stephen Walker added a 21-yard score, putting the Bulldogs up 29-0 before the Tigers had even converted a first down on offense.

The Tigers were finally able to string together consecutive first downs just before the end of the first quarter, then quarterback Calvin Henderson connected with Armond Ball for a 33-yard touchdown, making the score 29-6.

Brantley answered, pounding the ball both inside and outside against the Tigers’ defense, and Gulley scored easily on a 15-yard run in the second quarter. Porter added an 11-yard touchdown and Gulley scored on a 25-yard run also in the second.

The Tigers finally forced a punt out of the Bulldogs with two minutes remaining before halftime.

Brantley upped its lead in the second half as relief quarterback Zach Johnson passed to Walker in the flat who turned the play into a 45-yard touchdown run. The Tigers responded as Henderson found Emmanuel Johnson for a 41-yard catch, setting up a five-yard scoring plunge by Freddie Banks to start the fourth quarter. Johnson would add a 35-yard touchdown catch from Henderson early in the fourth also.

Porter added a 13-yard touchdown and Rynieko Carpenter scored in the waning moments of the game for the Bulldogs (6-0, 5-0) from the 5-yard line.

Brantley, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A by ASWA, improved their 2008 record to 7-0 and added their 47th consecutive Region 2 win since 2001.

The Bulldogs will host the Geneva County Bulldogs from Hartford this Friday night in more region action.

Game time is 7 p.m.