McKenzie seeking course correction in region battle with Pleasant Home

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The McKenzie Tigers are 0-2 but, for all intents and purposes, the Tigers are 0-0 as they enter region play this week at home against the Pleasant Home Eagles.

And though the Tigers have yet to clinch a win this season, McKenzie head football coach Tony Norris said that his Tigers continue to improve not only from one game to the next, but also each day at practice.  He added that the day-to-day improvements that the team continues to make would pave the way for a successful postseason.

“The first region game, or any region game, means it is playoff mode,” Norris said. “This is a pretty good opportunity to set yourself up to get in the playoffs.  It calls for the energy being ramped up at practice, and everyone focused and paying attention to detail.”

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The Tigers and the Eagles have a great deal of history, even if a bit one-sided, when meeting as opponents.  McKenzie has won nine out of the last 10 meetings between the two teams.  Pleasant Home hasn’t won since 2011.

Despite those facts, the Tigers aren’t taking their next opponent lightly.

“Pleasant Home is a well-coached team and they’re a big, physical team, so we’re going to have our hands full Friday night,” Norris said.  We’re going to have to do the little things the correct way—make sure we block who we’re supposed to block and just pay attention to detail.  Coach Mercer has taken over for Coach Mason down there, and he’s done a good job.  They look really big and physical on film, and it’s one of those things where anyone can beat you at any given time, so we’re going to have to practice well and play hard on Friday night.”

The Eagles’ size could pose a problem, Norris said, but it’s Pleasant Home’s penchant for misdirection that could spell doom for an unprepared defense.

“Their offense is a wing-T type of offense, and there are all kinds of motions and pulling guards that will distract you from where the play is going.

“And they’re pretty good up front.  We’re going to have to make sure we make the right reads, and then tackle properly when we do.”

The Tigers host the Eagles Friday.  Kickoff is at 7 p.m.