Tigers aiming to slow down high-powered offense

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

McKenzie School’s rout of week-three opponent Red Level High School was important in nailing down critical errors that had been plaguing the Tigers all season but, according to head coach Josh McLendon, the time for celebrating is over.

“We wanted to accomplish certain things in that game Friday night, and I thought we got those things accomplished,” McLendon said. “We celebrated that win and enjoyed the win, but we’re looking toward Geneva County now.”

And as it turns out, so is everyone else.

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Geneva County High School has made short work of each of its first three opponents, including McKenzie’s in-county rival, Georgiana School.

Most impressively of all, the Bulldogs have done it with relative ease.

Georgiana gave Geneva County their narrowest margin of victory in last week’s 53-28 win. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 121-34 in three games.

Geneva County has become a force to be reckoned with in Class 1A, and McLendon said that there are two particularly obvious reasons why.

“They have two great running backs who are physical runners — they’re big, strong and fast,” McLendon said. “Defensively, they play physical football. They’re just a good overall, fundamentally sound football team. I’m just very impressed on how they go about it with nothing flashy. They just do what they do, and are successful with what their plan is.”

And while McKenzie’s own offense is no slouch, McLendon said that the true battle will emerge on the defensive front.

“Coach (Tony) Norris has a good game plan for the week, and it’s going to be about not giving up the big play, and not getting down,” McLendon added.

“We realize that they’re a very good offense, and they’re going to score their points.  We’ve just got to keep fighting and keep playing, and just try to hang in there and make it a ball game in the end.”

And similarly to what he has preached all year, the road to victory and self-improvement are oftentimes one and the same.

“I think the most important thing for us is to focus on McKenzie, and not worry too much about what they’re doing,” McLendon said.

“Like we’ve always said, if you play hard, good things will happen.”

The Tigers and Bulldogs will square off Friday at 7 p.m. at Geneva County.