Florala fends off McKenzie comeback

Published 11:58 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

The McKenzie Tigers’ losing skid continued Friday night on the road despite a grueling, hard-fought match with an improved Florala Wildcats football team.

In the end, a single touchdown separated the Tigers from their second region win as the hosting Wildcats held on to a 42-35 win.  The Florala win snapped a four-game losing streak against the Tigers, giving the team its first victory over McKenzie since 2012.

McKenzie head football coach Tony Norris said that the Tigers dug themselves a hole early that proved difficult to escape.

“At halftime, we were down 21-7,” Norris said. “The kids came back out in the second half and fought real hard and stayed positive and together, and they were able to have a chance to win the game.

“We got the ball late with about 5 minutes left in the game, but we just couldn’t get things going.  We had a few first downs before stalling out.  We had a chance to get the ball back with 2 minutes left in the game before we jumped offsides.  They just let the clock run out after that.”

A much-improved Florala offense proved a tough challenge for the Tigers defense, Norris said.

“Coach Mason has done a great job with their offense,” Norris continued. “And they do a good job with protecting their quarterback and keeping him upright.  Their kids believe in what they’re doing and they have a lot of confidence.”

McKenzie will have to wait a week for another shot at a region win, thanks to a non-region game against Barbour County on the road next Thursday.

Though the Tigers will effectively lose a day of preparation, Norris said that he’s confident his team will be prepared for a long road trip next Thursday.

“It’ll change up how we approach practice just a little bit,” he said. “Monday and Tuesday will be regular days, and Wednesday will be a little changed up to get ready for that Thursday night game.”