McKenzie and Georgiana earn first wins of the season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2006

After devastating losses in week one, the McKenzie Tigers and the Georgiana Panthers got back to the basics and back to the winning ways Friday night as the Tigers downed Kinston 42-21 and the Panthers took care of region foe Bayside, 34-21.

Seeking revenge from last year's 41-20 loss to Kinston, the McKenzie Tigers earned their first win in nearly two years off of a strong rushing performance.

The Tigers racked up nearly 400 yards on the ground and proved, not only to Kinston, but also to themselves that winning in McKenzie is back.

&#8220It's big for the community and the school,” first-year head coach Miles Brown said. &#8220(Our players) have been losing for a long time and we're just trying to get people to believe at McKenzie.”

Leading the way on offense for the Tigers was freshman Calvin Henderson, who rushed for more than 150 yards and scored on a three-yard run.

&#8220Once again it was the Calvin Henderson show and the supporting cast that went along with played great also,” Brown said.

That supporting cast included running back Elrick Ball, who finished with more than 130 yards rushing and a team-high four touchdowns, and quarterback Sattrick Rudolph, who finished with more than 100 yards rushing and one touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Curtis Ball led the way with 15 tackles and one fumble recovery while Tyler Bush had 13 tackles.

Henderson finished with eight tackles and an interception and Freddie Banks also had eight tackles.

&#8220Our coaching staff did a great job making halftime adjustments,” Brown said.

After going into halftime with a 21-14 lead, the Tigers gave up an early score at the beginning of the second half and then never budged after that.

The Tigers first win of the season couldn't have come at a better time, as McKenzie now sits at 1-0 in region play.

&#8220We've still got a long way to go,” Brown said. &#8220Our goal here in McKenzie is going to the playoffs and if the dream is going to the playoffs, then every region game is big.”

The Tigers will continue region play Friday night as they travel to Brown's old school, Pleasant Home. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Georgiana 34, Bayside 21

The Georgiana Panthers, reeling from a 35-0 shutout loss to cross-town rival Greenville, got their first win of the season Friday by downing region foe Bayside, 34-21.

&#8220It feels good,” first-year head coach Donald Ray Mixon said. &#8220A lot of pressure is off us after getting that first win.”

Offensively, many Panthers contributed to the scoring, including junior Zebbie Mitchell, Ronald Scott and Damien McIntosh.

Mitchell scored on a five-yard run, Scott on a 60-yard run and McIntosh on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Andre Paige.

&#8220Offensively, we played hard and played well,” Mixon said.

On the defensive side of the ball, Mitchell returned an interception 30-yards for a touchdown and Mixon said he was pleased with the overall effort.

&#8220Our defense played hard, swarmed the football and did an excellent job,” Mixon said.

The Panthers first win couldn't have come at a better time and Mixon said he hopes his players will see that their hard work will pay off.

&#8220I'm glad we got a win and our guys are starting to believe in the things we are doing,” Mixon said.

The Panthers will play the first home game of the season Friday night as they host No. 1 Southern Choctaw. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

&#8220We're always glad to be playing back at home,” Mixon said.