Macon County High School’s football team moved to 5-0 after Friday’s 49-6 win at Livingston Academy.
The Tigers are known for their ground-and-pound style football. However, on Friday night, it was the right arm of senior quarterback Kyle Shockley that led the way.
“We weren’t able to get a whole lot going for us on the ground, but Shockley stepped up big for us,” said Tiger fifth-year head coach Kyle Shoulders.
The Tigers started the game with possession. After a good return from Gabe Borders, the Tigers started their drive from the Wildcat 34 yard line. A short five-play drive ended with an eight-yard connection between Shockley and classmate Hayden Wix, and a successful PAT attempt from senior kicker Bryson Higgins gave the Tigers an early 7-0 lead with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tiger defense showed up early as they backed the Wildcats up to their own 20 on first and second down forcing the Wildcats to put the ball in the air facing a third and 20. Borders then intercepted a pass and returned it 29 yards to the house. Higgins’ PAT makes it a 14-0 ballgame with 8:03 left.
The Tiger defense then forced a three-and-out, setting up the Wildcats first punt of the night. A good return from Borders set the Tiger offense up first and 10 from the Wildcat 40 yard line. On the second play of the drive, Borders went 38 yards to the end zone, however a chop block penalty negated the touchdown and backed the Tigers up into their own territory, putting them behind the chains replaying second down.
A short gain and an incomplete pass ended the drive for the Tigers. Senior punter Taylor Hobbs punted, and a fair catch from Wildcat returner Carson Parrot set the Wildcats up at their own 17 yard line.
Wildcat running back Lochlan Hammock picked up 35 yards on four carries, bringing the Wildcat offense up to the Tiger 48 yard line. After a couple short gains and a false start penalty, Wildcat quarterback Brodey Coffee found Parrot for a 52-yard touchdown. A bad snap on the PAT attempt allowed the Tigers to maintain a 14-6 lead with 31.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Tigers start their next drive from their own 30 yard line. Senior running back Nate Green picks up 13 yards and the first down on the Tigers first play of the drive, however a holding penalty negates it and backs them up to their own 20 yard line. A short gain for the Tigers ends the first quarter with the Tigers leading 14-6.
The Tiger offense starts the second quarter with a 34 yard gain from Borders giving them the first down. A few plays later, Borders goes the distance again but the touchdown is called back because of a holding penalty. The next play, the Tiger offense gets the ball down to the 1 yard line but another penalty backs them up even further, and a sideline penalty sends them back five more yards setting them up first and 19 from the Wildcat 21 yard line. On the next play of the drive, Shockley finds Wix again for the touchdown. Higgins’ PAT extends the Tigers lead to 21-6 with 9:00 left in the first half.
The Wildcats start their next drive from their own 20 yard line. On third down, another sideline penalty against the Tigers gives the Wildcats a first down. Coffee picks up another first down the next play, but that is all that the Tiger defense would allow forcing the Wildcats to punt again.
A gain of 18 for Borders on first down gives the Tigers some breathing room, picking up a first down. A short gain and a sack brings up third and long for the Tigers. The next play, Shockley finds Borders crossing the field and Borders outruns everyone going 82 yards for the touchdown. Higgins’ PAT makes it 28-6 with 2:33 left.
A penalty against the Wildcats on the touchdown play is enforced on the kickoff and Higgins boots it into the end zone for the touchback, giving the Wildcats possession at their own 20 yard line. After eight plays, the Wildcats decide to attempt a 51-yard field goal that is short and returned by Tiger sophomore Braylon Flowers as time expires in the first half. However, a horsecollar penalty against the Wildcats gives the Tigers one untimed down from their own 49 yard line. Shockley looks to find Wix again but instead throws an interception to Wildcat linebacker Deacon Allred and the Tigers are able to get him down ending the first half.
The Wildcats start the second half with the ball on their own 29 yard line. After a couple first downs, a Wildcat holding penalty backs them up as well as a combined loss of 12 yards on the following two plays. The Tiger defense forces a punt that is blocked by Shockley. He leads his offense back out starting their first drive of the half from the Wildcat 35 yard line.
After a loss of a yard on the first play of the drive, Shockley goes 36 yards for the Tiger touchdown. However, another Tiger penalty takes the points off the board. Junior running back Braden Warren picks up 10 yards on the next play and then two plays later Shockley finds him for 20 more. Two plays after that, Shockley hits sophomore teammate Luke Gammon for the two-yard touchdown pass, and Higgins boots it through the uprights to increase the Tigers lead to 35-6 with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats start with the ball at their own 26 yard line where Coffee is able to get a little something going at the beginning of the drive, first with his arm, finding Parrot for a 19-yard pickup, and then two plays later gaining 11 more with his legs. After a short gain and a couple incomplete passes, the Tiger defense stuffs Coffee on fourth down to force a turnover on downs giving the Tigers possession at their own 48 yard line.
On first down, freshman Trey Mclain picks up 17 yards, and three plays later Warren caps off the drive with a 10 yard touchdown run. Higgins PAT makes it 42-6 with 11:09 left bringing the mercy rule into effect.
The Wildcats take over from their own 22 yard line and on second down, Coffee’s pass is intercepted by Tiger defensive back Ty Young, giving the Tigers possession starting at the Wildcat 49 yard line. On this drive, the Tigers share the load, giving five different players a chance at carrying the ball getting the ball to the 1-yard line. Senior running back Nate Green, who has been playing with a knee injury, finishes off the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone, picking up his first touchdown of his senior campaign. Higgins finishes the night 7 for 7 on PAT’s. Higgins is 23 for 24 on the season on PAT’s remaining perfect for the past three consecutive games.
Shockley, finishing 5-8 for 133 yards and four touchdowns, dominates this game to advance the Tigers to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in region 4-4A play.
“I was pleased with a lot of things tonight,” Shoulders said, “but we got a lot of little things to clean up if we want to come away with a win next week.”
The Tigers play host to visiting 5A Portland Panthers, celebrating homecoming night on Friday night.