McKenzie drops third straight, 48-14

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006

The McKenzie Tigers dropped their third straight game on Friday night, falling to the Ariton Purple Cats on the road 48-14.

The Tigers are now 2-5 on the year, but still have a shot at the making the Class 1A playoffs with victories in consecutive Region 2 games against Providence Christian (Oct. 20) and Florala (Oct. 27).

Head coach Miles Brown said Friday's contest at Ariton was a case of getting &#8220hit in the mouth” early.

Ariton blocked a McKenzie punt on the Tigers' first possession of the game, scored a touchdown and went up 8-0 right out of the gate. The Purple Cats then ran a punt back and capitalized on a McKenzie fumble to score another touchdown.

Boom. 21-0. Just like that.

&#8220Ariton is a real good football team,” said Brown. &#8220But we helped them out a lot. We missed a lot of assignments and made a lot of mistakes.”

To the Tigers' credit, the offense answered with tailback Curtis Ball scoring on a 5-yard run.

But by then the damage was done.

Ariton led 30-6 at halftime.

McKenzie quarterback Sattrick Rudolph scored on a 1-yard sneak in the second half for the Tigers. Chance Davis added the two-point conversion.

Brown said he knew a turnaround of the long dormant McKenzie football program would not happen overnight.

&#8220Our kids just have to continue to buy into the program and not give up,” he said. &#8220They just have to keep working hard and the good things will come.”

The Tigers are a team loaded with underclassmen - the majority sophomores and freshmen. Daniel Ballard is the lone senior on the team.

McKenzie travels to play Providence Christian next Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.