McKenzie prevails against Wilcox

Published 11:43 pm Sunday, August 27, 2023

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The McKenzie Tigers celebrated their first win of the season against the Wilcox Central Jaguars at their home field Friday night. Both teams fought hard for the win as fans on both sides of the ball were exceptional and explosive in their support for the players. 

The Tigers ended the night victorious with a 47-28 win and head coach Brian Bradford said both teams played well. 

“It was a good team win tonight,” Bradford said. “I thought the guys played well on both sides of the football. We’ve definitely got a lot we can clean up on and get better at going in the next week. But anytime you can start off the season with a win, it’s a good thing.” 

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In the first quarter both teams grabbed an interception. Wilcox intercepted Mckenzie on their fourth down and returned it to the 36 yard line, and the Tiger’s No. 12 Ziquayvion Jackson intercepted the Jaguars pass for a first down. 

In the second quarter McKenzie’s No. 1 Skylar Sanders scored the team’s first touchdown. Wilcox made an impressive catch for a touchdown leaving the score 7-6. The Tiger’s No. 11 Jahmarren Jackson scored the team’s second touchdown with three minutes left in the quarter.

The Jaguar’s then scored their second touchdown of the night with a 40 yard run. Impressively, as the last second of the first half counted down, the Tiger’s quarterback No. 2 Jaylen Mcmillian made a deep pass to Sanders for a touchdown ending the quarter at 19-13. 

Curtis Black, principal of Wilcox Central, said he is proud of the team for how far they have come.

“The young men have come a long way as far as technique, competing, and learning new skill sets,” Black said. “The coaches have worked extremely hard with them. I’m Proud of the fan base for coming out tonight to support them as well. But overall, big improvements; they’re playing hard and they’re playing for something.”

In the third quarter McKenzie player No. 5 Travarius Rudolph carried defenders on his back as he ran the ball in for a touchdown, leaving the score 26-13. The Jaguars threw a touchdown pass with eight minutes left in the quarter, before recovering a fumble made by the Tigers at the 50 yard line, leaving the score at 26-20. 

Black said the game was nostalgic, as he was previously the principal of Greenville Middle School and Greenville High School. 

“It’s always good to come back to Butler County,” Black said. “I’ve enjoyed seeing old friends and colleagues, and I’m proud of all of my Butler County students who are doing outstanding things in their different communities and being productive citizens of the society.”

In the fourth quarter Rudolph made two more touchdowns, and Jackson made an interception for a first down. 

With about three minutes left in the game No. 7 Johnathan Davison made the last touchdown for the Tigers, before Wilcox scored on a pass with a two point conversion, ending the game 47-28. 

“I’m proud of how hard our guys played tonight and being able to put the game away in the fourth quarter,” Bradford said.

McKenzie’s next game will be against fellow Butler County school Georgiana High at the Panther’s stadium, on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.