McKenzie#039;s #039;season starts Friday night#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

McKenzie ran into two buzzsaws on Friday night.

One was Flomaton, which shut out the Tigers 35-0. The second was McKenzie, itself, which turned the ball over at least six times to give the win to Flomaton.

"We can't afford to shoot ourselves in the foot like we did Friday night," Tigers coach David Kirkland said. "We can't have that many turnovers and expect to win."

McKenzie (0-1) will open the region schedule Friday by playing host to Pleasant Home, which was throttled by Gulf Shores, 45-7.

"Our season starts Friday night," Kirkland said. "If we are going to the playoffs, we've got to win our region games."

Kirkland said that his team should match up well with Pleasant Home. The Eagles (0-1) have about the same number of players on the team. The only difference is that Pleasant Home has about four seniors, while McKenzie does not have a single senior on its squad.

"They look big and physical along the offensive line," Kirkland said. "They are going to try to throw it about 60 percent of the time."

McKenzie also likes to throw the ball, but it didn't have much success against Flomaton.

Josh Dozier caught Pleasant Home's lone touchdown of the game from Josh Ballard against Gulf Shores.

Pleasant Home's run game was almost non-existent. The Eagles were held to just 5 yards rushing, while Gulf Shores rolled up 229 yards.

As for McKenzie's preparations for Pleasant Home, Kirkland said his team needs to grow up in a hurry.

"We had some kids do real good Friday night, and some that need to get mentally tougher," he said. "Some are going to have to learn to play through a little pain. I'm not just trying to raise a football team, but make productive young men out of each one."