• 88°

McIntosh upsets McKenzie

All season long, the trademark of McKenzie was a potent, quick-strike offense, but the McIntosh Demons held the Tigers in check in a 26-14 upset last night.

It looked like it would be business as usual for McKenzie when the game started, as Emmanuel Johnson took the opening kickoff 50 yards to the McIntosh 40.

A few plays later, quarterback Calvin Henderson hit Armond Ball on a 15-yard screen pass to put McKenzie ahead 6-0.

At the beginning of the week, McKenzie head coach Miles Brown talked about the team speed of McIntosh, and the Tigers got a first-hand view of it on the next possession.

McKenzie attempted an onside kick, which was recovered by McIntosh, and on the first play of the drive, the Demons’ Shakoor Thomas broke a run of over 50 yards to tie the score at six.

McKenzie took the punch and responded with a drive of their own.

Henderson faked a handoff and raced up the middle for 18 yards and another score.

A two-point conversion later, and McKenzie led 14-6.

However, the Tigers hadn’t seen the last of Thomas.

He took the ensuing kick 85 yards for a touchdown to again knot the game at 14.

Just when it looked as though the two offenses were going to trade touchdowns all night, the defenses took over and the second quarter was scoreless.

That’s not to say that the second quarter didn’t have its close calls.

Twice the McKenzie defense stepped up to stop the Demons.

McIntosh called a play-action pass at the perfect time to catch the Tigers sleeping, but Henderson never gave up on the play and punched the ball from the McIntosh player’s arms around the five-yard line.

The ball went through the endzone for a Tiger touchback.

Unfortunately, McKenzie gave it right back on the first play of the drive with a fumble.

But again, the defense stood tough.

With little over a minute left before the half, the Tiger defense held the Demons on fourth and goal to take a 14-14 tie into the locker room.

The second half was a stalemate until there were only 27 seconds left in the third quarter, when McIntosh scored after a solid drive.

McKenzie looked poised to respond, but this time it was the Demon defense that rose up and forced the Tigers to turn the ball over on downs at the McIntosh six-yard line.

McIntosh put the nail in the coffin with a 65-yard dash by Quatell Land with 3:06 left in the game.

Despite the abrupt end to the season, Brown talked about how far the team has come this year.

“It’s been a good year for us,” he said. “A disappointing end, but a good season.”

“These seniors have raised the bar by leading us to a 9-2 season, and they’ve taken us to the playoffs, which is somewhere we haven’t been in six years,” Brown continued. “I’m really proud of the entire team.”