The Macon County High Tigers traveled to the creekbank on Friday night to take on neighboring rival Trousdale County Yellow Jackets and came home with a big win.
Tiger sophomore Gabe Borders accounted for five of the Tigers’ six touchdowns in the team’s 42-0 road win to move to 4-0 on the season.
“It was a team effort,” Tigers head coach Kyle Shoulders said. “Gabe played his heart out, but he will be the first to tell you he couldn’t do it without the group of guys he has with him.”
The Tigers started off hot on the first drive by going 60 yards on just four plays, capped off by a 44-yard run by Borders. Tiger kicker Bryson Higgins’ PAT attempt was good and it was 7-0 with 10:39 left in the opening quarter.
The Tiger defense forced the Jackets to punt after they started on their 20. Borders came up with a bloc,k setting the Tigers up on the Jacket 5 yard line, but a holding penalty on the Tigers return team gave the Jackets a 1st and 10 at their own 36 yard line. After a couple of Jacket penalties, the Tiger defense again forced the Jackets to punt.
The Tigers took over at their own 45 yard line. Ten plays later, Borders found pay dirt again, this time from 8 yards out, and another successful PAT from Higgins made it 14-0 with 1:59 left in the first quarter, which is the way the quarter ended.
The Tiger offense started the second quarter at the Jacket 49 yard line. Their offense marched back down the field, and on second down from the 13 yard line, quarterback Kyle Shockley’s pass was intercepted by Jacket defensive back Jake Ferguson at the goal line, which gave the Jackets possession at their own 6 yard line.
After a delay of game penalty, Jacket quarterback Kobyn Calhoun picked up 44 yards rushing to get the Jackets some breathing room out to the Tiger 44 yard line. After gaining another first down, a penalty and a fourth down sack from sophomore lineman Brody Frye and senior lineman Mason Swindle, ended the Trousdale drive. However, the Jackets defense forced a three-and-out, giving Tiger punter Taylor Hobbs his only action of the night. His punt went into the end zone and set Trousdale up first and 10 at their own 20 yard line. The Jackets gained another first down, but the half ended with the Tigers leading 14-0.
The Jackets started the second half with possession at their own 31 yard line. Trousdale worked their way down the field, picking up a few first downs, but the Tiger defense held strong again on fourth down, forcing a turnover on downs giving the Tigers possession at their own 19 yard line.
After a couple short gains, a 25 yard pickup from Borders got the Tigers into Jacket territory. On the next play, Tiger sophomore Braylon Flowers picked up 27 more to get the Tigers into the red zone. Two plays later, junior running back Braden Warren went around the edge and reached into the end zone from 4 yards out untouched. Higgins remained perfect and extended the Tigers’ lead to 21-0.
The Tiger defense forced another three-and-out on the Jackets’ next possession. After the punt, the Tigers took over at the Jacket 36 yard line. With enough time for one more play, a gain of 6 ends the third quarter with the Tigers up 21-0.
On the next play, the Tigers picked up a first down. Then on second down, a halfback pass from Borders to senior receiver Hayden Wix picked up the remaining 26 yards for a Tiger touchdown. Higgins’ PAT extended the Tigers’ lead to 28-0.
The Jackets ensuing possession started at their own 32 yard line. A pickup of 20 for Calhoun got a first down for the Jackets into Tiger territory. On third down, Calhoun picked up 20 more, getting the Jackets down to the Tiger 20 yard line. Another good pickup from Calhoun was negated by a holding penalty, which stalled the Jackets’ drive. On second and third down, the Tiger defense was able to bring down the Jacket runners behind the line of scrimmage for a combined loss of 13 yards, which forced the Jackets to punt.
The punt was partially blocked by Borders and was downed at the Tiger 38 yard line. On the Tigers’ first play of the drive, Shockley found Borders for a 62 yard touchdown. Higgins drilled the PAT for a 35-0 Tiger lead with 5:03 remaining in the contest.
With the Tigers ahead by 30 or more points, by rule there was a running clock for the rest of the game unless the Jackets closed the gap to within 30 points.
After a first down, the Jackets got a delay of game penalty, making it first and 15. On the next play, a fumble on the handoff was recovered by Tiger junior Tyler Gregory, which gave the Tigers possession at the Jacket 30 yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Borders found the end zone again. Higgins finished the night six for six on PAT’s and the score ballooned to 42-0.
Borders has a phenomenal night, but a few other key performances come from the Tiger defense making multiple stops with their backs against the wall, and Higgins’ perfect night kicking extra points.
“That’s huge out of your kicker, especially at this level,” Shoulders said. “He has worked his tail off all offseason and it is paying off. We have to flush this game and begin to prepare for Livingston, a game that has playoff contention on the line.”
The Tigers travel to Livingston on Friday night to take on the Wildcats in their second game in region play.