• 70°

McKenzie beats Excel, 41-7

According to head coach Miles Brown, the McKenzie Tigers looked rusty against Excel, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the 41-7 win on the scoreboard.

Melvin Owens drew first blood for the Tigers with a four-yard run in the first quarter and Kendrick Ball added the PAT.

McKenzie’s offense sputtered after that opening drive, turning the ball over twice on downs inside Excel’s red zone.

“We looked like a team that didn’t have a preseason game to iron out the kinks,” Brown said.

In the second period, the Tigers woke up.

Emmanuel Johnson had touchdown runs of 37 and 10 yards, and Armand Ball broke a 54-yard run for a touchdown on third down and 10 with 0:22 to play.

After Kendrick Ball’s kick, McKenzie led 28-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Armand Ball had touchdown runs of four yards and 49 yards to put the game away for McKenzie.

On the night, Ball had 244 yards rushing on 11 carries.

“Offensively, our running backs and offensive line did a great job,” Brown said. “The o-line did one of the best jobs blocking that I’ve seen, and it gave us a chance to run.”

Johnson went 5-10 for 79 yards through the air, and 138 yards on 10 carries on the ground.

Marcus Mitchell and Brandon Sellers each had 11 tackles and one sack, while Bradley Bush, Ethan Davis and Jody Halford had nine tackles each.

“We played some of the best defense I’ve seen since I’ve been here at McKenzie,” Brown said. “We played well except for one run that went for a touchdown, which was our one letdown.”

Despite the strong play, Brown said he also sees room for improvement.

“We didn’t have a chance to work out our mistakes before the season started, so we’re going to have to do that now,” he said. “We had too many penalties, and we’ve got to work on some other things before we start region play.”