WILDCATS TOPPLE MCKENZIE: Florala makes playoff push with big region win

Published 12:09 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Florala Wildcats showed a lot of heart and grit on their way to a 42-35 victory over the McKenzie Tigers on Friday night in Florala.

“I think I might have aged 10 years there at the end,” Wildcat head coach Scott Mason said. “Offensively, I think we are hitting on all cylinders right now, but we have to get better tackling. Overall, I’m so proud of the way these kids played tonight.”

Florala got the ball to start the game and marched down the field on strong passes from Jacob Hammac and big runs from Logan West.

West capped the drive with a 12-yard run up the middle. Hammac added the extra point to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.

McKenzie got a big return on the ensuing kickoff down to the Florala 23, but that was all the Wildcat defense would allow.

Four plays later, McKenzie turned the ball over on downs.

Hammac hit West for a 30-yard screen pass on third-and-long before connecting with Shun White on a 35-yard touchdown.

The Wildcats got another turnover on downs when Eddie Sullivan came up with a big sack on the McKenzie quarterback.

Florala’s offense went right back to work with Hammac finding Caleb Wood for a 66-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up 21-0.

Midway through the second quarter, McKenzie scored to cut the lead to 21-7.

Florala answered with another scoring drive capped off by a 6-yard touchdown from Wood.

The Wildcats forced another turnover on downs on the next series with three-straight sacks and then an incomplete pass.

McKenzie opened up the second half with a long touchdown run, but the Wildcats got a piece of the extra point and forced it fall short.

Wood then got his third score of the night when he hauled in a Hammac pass and went 32 yards to pay dirt.

Hammac’s extra point gave Florala a 35-13 lead.

McKenzie answered with a touchdown of their own, but the Wildcat offense did the same on the following drive.

Hammac found White for a 29-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up 42-19 with 1:10 left in the third.

McKenzie continued to grind and found the end zone twice early in the fourth quarter.

With time running out, the Wildcat defense made a crucial fourth-down stop to help secure the victory.

“Right now, our biggest thing is we just don’t have the athletes, and that shows up in special teams,” Mason said. “Our offense is a great equalizer, except when our sophomore quarterback tried to do too much at the end of the game. We are making strides. We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we are getting there.”

Florala goes on the road next week to take on St. Michael.