Tigers blitz Cats

Published 1:42 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

Despite being without running back Armond Ball and quarterback Calvin Henderson, the McKenzie Tigers still rolled to a 42-0 win over Ariton last night at Williams-Vickery Field.

Ball, who had racked up nearly 550 yards rushing in the first two games, was at home sick with the flu.

Henderson took to the field for the first time this season after recovering from a foot injury, but he left the game after the first series and didn’t return.

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“Freddy Banks and Emmanuel Johnson both ran hard for us tonight,” said head coach Miles Brown. “Our defense also played extremely well.”

Melvin Owens got things started for the defense with an interception at the 28-yard line, and Johnson capitalized with a nine-yard run up the middle with 3:21 left in the first quarter.

Johnson continued rolling in the second quarter, taking a snap, hesitating slightly and then sprinting 93 yards through the middle of the Ariton defense to the endzone.

Johnson had one more touchdown in the first half, a 33-yard run with 3:25 left to put McKenzie up 20-0.

In the second half, Sir Wallace Presley launched a jump ball to the corner of the endzone from 21 yards out and Cliff Pugh went up and grabbed it to make the score 28-0.

Banks and Owens also got in on the action with touchdown runs of 23 yards and 10 yards, respectively.

“Our special teams also did a good job, and Kendrick Ball had some good kicks,” Brown said.

Even though the game was a blow-out win, Brown also found some areas the Tigers need to improve on.

“We had a lot of penalties to correct, but a lot of those were because of aggressive defense,” he said.

The Tiger defense jumped offside a number of times from wrongly anticipating the snap count, but on the positive side, calls like offensive holding were few and far between.

“We had way too many penalties, and that’s something we’ll have to work on before next week,” Brown said.

The win moves McKenzie to 2-0 in the region and 3-0 overall. Next week, the Tigers will take on rival Pleasant Home, which will also be homecoming for McKenzie.