• 70°

McKenzie rolls over Fruitdale 52-7, Sweet Water up next

Throughout the latter half of the season, the Fruitdale Pirates had been steadily improving, but nothing could have prepared them for a fired-up and focused McKenzie team that came away with a 52-7 victory last night.

“This team came out and played some football,” McKenzie head coach Miles Brown said about his Tigers. “I thought that if we played good football, we could come away with a good win.”

The Tigers started things in style by recovering an onside kick, and Melvin Owens put McKenzie on the board with a 20-yard run.

Then Emmanuel Johnson took over.

Before the first half ended, Johnson scored on a one-yard run, a 24-yard reception from Calvin Henderson and an 80-yard kick return to put the Tigers ahead 28-7 at halftime.

The Tigers continued to come out firing in the second half with runs of 13 yards and one yard run by Johnson and a 45-yard run by Armond Ball.

McKenzie also had success on their two-point conversions, with Owens converting one, Johnson hitting Cliff Pugh for one, and Henderson connecting with Matt Lewis.

“Our defense played really well, and we had about three interceptions,” Brown said. “Our offense also played well, but in the second half, our offense kind of stalled. We didn’t do a good job in the third quarter, and we have some mistakes to correct. We had a lot of penalties too. Those are the kind of things that get you beat.”

“We did get some good play out of Kendrick Ball kicking it and Armond Ball punting it,” Brown added.

The big win over Fruitdale puts the Tigers into the second round against Sweet Water.

“We’ll be traveling to Sweet Water next week,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to that. They’re the ones with the dynasty in 1A, and to win it, you’ve got to go through them.”