McKenzie rallies to top Eagles

Published 10:36 pm Friday, October 25, 2013

For 24 minutes Friday night, Pleasant Home High School had McKenzie School right where it wanted.

Then came the second half.

The Tigers (8-1, 6-1 Class 1A, Region 2) reeled off 20 second-half points to score a 27-14 win in Andalusia.

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“We didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm, and we really didn’t play very well, but our kids kept fighting,” McKenzie head coach Josh McLendon said.

The Eagles (1-7, 1-6 Class 1A, Region 2) limited the Tigers to just three possessions in the first half, by keeping the ball on the ground and converting first downs.

The Tigers managed to score on one possession, but were forced to punt on another and also turned the ball over on downs.

The Tigers and the Eagles were tied 7-7 at the intermission.

“They did a good job of keeping the ball away from us,” McLendon said. “They had a good plan. They played ground-and-pound football and made first downs and kept our offense on the sidelines.”

But the second half was a different story. The McKenzie defense was able to force three-and-outs and the Tigers capitalized when they had the football.

“I was really proud of our defense,” McLendon said. “They stepped up in the second half, and got t he ball back for our offense and gave us a chance to score and win the game. We slopped around for a lot of the game, but we found a way to win. These kids are resilient and I’m really proud of them and the way they fought back to win the football game.”

Nicarius Peterson scored two touchdowns for the Tigers, while Anthony Grace and Harper Vinson each added a touchdown in the win.

McKenzie will be back in action Thursday night when it plays host to Class 2A Goshen High School.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.