• 82°

McKenzie outlasts Bulldogs

A pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs and a stingy defense propelled McKenzie School to a 20-8 victory over J.U. Blacksher High School Friday night in Uriah.

“We played a real good game defensively,” said first-year head coach Tony Norris. “It was nip and tuck going into the fourth quarter and were finally able to start moving the ball a little.”

Junior running back Chris Shufford scored all three McKenzie touchdowns and rushed for well north of 100 yards.

“He ran hard,” Norris said. “He was probably up around 250 yards for the game.”

Norris also praised the play of Jay Womack, who led a stifling McKenzie defense.

“I was really proud of the way our defense played,” Norris said. “The last few weeks we’ve really started to play better on that side of the ball. I think the kids are starting to understand what we want to do, and coach (Matt) Coghlan has done a good job with our defensive game plan. It’s starting to come together for us.”

Norris said the win is a big boost for the Tigers (6-3, 5-2) heading into the postseason.

“This was a good team win,” Norris said. “It was good to come out on top after coming up just a little short last week. All in all it was good win.”

Brantley edged McKenzie 22-16 a week earlier in Brantley.

McKenzie will have an extra week to prepare for the postseason with open date next Friday.

The Tigers will then travel to Linden for the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 6. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.