Tigers take Eagles in double-overtime win
After six lead changes and two overtimes, the McKenzie Tigers managed to snap a two-game losing streak and fend off the visiting Pleasant Home Eagles in a 47-46 slugfest.
The Tigers and the Eagles traded punches all night, but it was Pleasant Home who landed the first blow as running back Nicholas Woods took a direct snap and charged unimpeded up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown run.
The Tigers answered almost immediately afterward as quarterback Daniel Gaston connected with receiver Jacquez Smith for a 67-yard bomb to even the odds 8-8.
The remainder of the first quarter belonged to McKenzie as Gaston picked up his second touchdown on the ground with a 53-yard touchdown run, and Smith reeled in his second touchdown catch on the ensuing drive to make it 22-8.
Undaunted by the deficit, the Eagles answered back as Woods bobbled a punt return, shrugged off a pair of tackles and surged half the field to the end zone for a touchdown to cut the Pleasant Home deficit to just two scores.
Momentum mounted in the third for the Eagles with three unanswered touchdowns, with the third set up by two McKenzie personal fouls in the same play and a second punt return for a touchdown from Woods to make it 34-28.
McKenzie’s Elijah Presley soon answered the challenge to even the score once again at 34-34.
Play after regulation carried on much the same as it had in the first four quarters, with the Eagles and Tigers trading scores.
McKenzie struck first as a Presley run set up a short toss from Gaston to Weston Keeney for a touchdown, though Gaston would overthrow Austin Miller for the two-point conversion attempt.
A flag backed up the Eagles to the 15, though Pleasant Home still responded with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Woods. The extra point went wide right, however, leaving the score at 40-40.
Pleasant Home struck gold again in double-overtime to take a 46-40 lead, though—crucially—the Eagles missed its two-point conversion attempt yet again.
Gaston found the end zone for the Tigers on a 10-yard keeper, tying the game for a fourth time, and kicker Sebastian Vazquez’s kick sailed through the uprights to seal a narrow 47-46 win over the Tigers’ first regional opponent.
Region play will continue on the road for both the Tigers and the Eagles as McKenzie travels to Houston County and Pleasant Home heads to Brantley Friday.