McKenzie hoping to halt two-game losing skid

Published 3:49 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The McKenzie Tigers look to fight off a midseason slump against the Red Level Tigers, but they’ll do so against a drastically new and improved team.

Red Level currently sits at 2-3, but the record doesn’t even begin to tell half of the team’s story.

In the past four seasons, the Red Level Tigers have won only three games.  The team lost 30 consecutive games between 2011 and 2014.

Red Level has also suffered losses at the hands of the McKenzie Tigers in the past six meetings, with the last win over McKenzie coming in 2006.

Despite it all, this year’s Red Level team was only minutes away from knocking off Brantley in one of the biggest potential upsets of recent memory.

Meanwhile, the McKenzie Tigers attempt to curb the downward spiral after two back-to-back losses to the Georgiana Panthers and the Hillcrest-Evergreen Jaguars.

Tony Norris, McKenzie’s head football coach, called the bout with the Class 3A Jaguars a measuring stick for the Tigers’ potential in the postseason.

Though the Tigers stumbled early and often in the 43-12 loss, Norris is confident that the Tigers can regain their footing at this pivotal point in the season.

“We can’t push the panic button.  We’re still 3-2,” Norris said.

“You’ve just got to go back to work and get some questions answered, and go from there.  Now there needs to be a little bit of a sense of urgency, but I haven’t pushed the panic button just yet.”

Red Level is fresh off a dominating 45-0 homecoming win over the J.F. Shields Panthers, thanks largely to defensive end Ontaryo Nearor’s  pair of sacks and a defense that held the Panthers’ offense to zero offensive production until the fourth quarter.

The talented McKenzie backfield of William Brown, Jay Womack and Chris Shufford, which has contributed a large chunk of the Tigers’ 38 average points per game, will have their work cut out for them against Nearor and company in what could prove the most pivotal matchup of the night.

McKenzie travels to face Red Level Friday night, and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.