Brantley #8216;bulldogs#039; McKenzie, 42-8
Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006
A full moon was out Friday night but it was no omen as the McKenzie Tigers became the sixth victim of the No. 1 Brantley Bulldogs, 42-8.
Although the score ended lopsided, the game was not as the Tigers had several opportunities to score but failed to convert and the McKenzie defense also held strong all night expect for several big plays by the Bulldogs.
“(This game) made you better because you had to act like men,” McKenzie head coach Miles Brown told his team following the loss. “I'm so proud of my offensive line.”
Knowing it would take everything the Tigers had to defeat the Bulldogs, McKenzie opened the game up with a successful onside kick and took over on offense.
After failing to convert on fourth down, the Tigers punted to the Bulldogs and on the second play from scrimmage, Brantley running back James Pittman rushed 45 yards for the touchdown.
McKenzie defender Emanuel Johnson injured his knee on the play and was carted off the field, stopping play for nearly 15 minutes.
Johnson returned to the McKenzie sideline by games end.
The Tigers received the kickoff and played keep away for the rest of the first half.
For the remainder of the first quarter, McKenzie drove the ball all the way to the Brantley four-yard line until quarterback Sattrick Rudolph was picked off by Jon Tyson on the first play of the second quarter.
McKenzie held the ball for 11 minutes and 20 seconds of the 12-minute first quarter.
“They did a good job of keeping us off the field,” Brantley head coach David Lowery said. “Our speed was the deciding factor and our backs are just fast.”
Brown said that keeping the Brantley offense off the field was the best defense for his team.
“We knew that their offense was their bread and butter,” Brown said. “We had to have a good ball-control offense to keep them on the sideline and it worked for a while.”
Following the Brantley interception, Chris Booker raced 69 yards into the Tiger red zone,
but the drive stalled as Melvin Owens intercepted a pass in the end zone.
After the Bulldog defense held McKenzie to three and out, Brantley deflected the punt, the first of two on the night, setting up a two-yard touchdown run by Booker.
Before the half ended, Brantley back-up quarterback Anthony Gulley raced 27 yards for a touchdown to take the Bulldogs into the locker room up 21-0.
In the second half, Brantley scored two touchdowns in the third quarter off a 26-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Helms to Booker and a three-yard run by Gulley.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers got on the board when Rudolph hit Chance Davis on a 58-yard touchdown pass, with Davis also adding the two-point conversion.
Gulley added a 29-yard touchdown run to close out the game for the Bulldogs.
“We really didn't play the type of physical defense we needed to play tonight,” Lowery said of his Bulldogs. “But you are going to have some nights where everything doesn't click.”
Offensively for the Tigers, Brown said he was extremely proud of the effort of running back Elrick Ball.
“Elrick has a lot of potential and he proved tonight that he can do some special things for McKenzie,” Brown said.
Although McKenzie didn't earn the win Friday night, Brown said it is his goal to turn his Tigers into the type of players that defeated them at William-Vickery Field.
“We want our type of football to be competitive like Brantley (Class) 1A football,” Brown said. “We're not trying to be like Hoover, were trying to be like what they've built at Brantley.”
The Bulldogs return to action Friday night as they host Providence for homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.