By Tim Case
For the 1st time since 1969 and 1970 and for only the 2nd time in school history, the MCHS Tigers advance to the playoffs in back to back seasons. The MCHS Tigers won the last 2 games of the regular season to advance to the 1st round of the TSSAA play-offs. The Tigers drew the #6 seed and had to travel to Jackson to face the #3 seed Liberty Tech Magnet High School.
The Crusaders scored first to take the lead 7-0. The Tigers answered back with a Grace to Salyer 24 yard TD pass. PAT good by Cook 7-7. Crusaders go 70 yards and 4 plays to take the lead for good 14-7. Liberty got another quick score after a fumble on the kick-off and lead 21-7. The Tiger offense stalled and the Crusaders posted two more scores to lead at halftime 35-7. Grace got a TD on a 1 yard QB sneak and later connected with Manning for a 5 yard TD pass. But the Tiger defense couldn’t stop the speedy offense of Liberty. The final score was 54-20.
The Tigers finish the season 5-6 and say good bye to nine seniors. Although all nine contributed and helped lay a solid foundation for the future of the program, it is worth noting that Dallas Grace ended his football career at MCHS with 5074 yards passing and 42 TD’s. Tyler Manning totaled 2064 yards receiving with 17 TDs and Jacob Salyer finished with 1058 yards and 11 TD’s. Chase Greenhalgh, Chris Escamilla, Jacob Anderson, Matt Bohanon, Jessie Newberry and William Bandy will all be missed when next season rolls around. I would personally like to say “Thank You” to this group of Seniors who have given so much over the past four years.
Coach Pemberton stated after the game Friday night, “We will start work-outs next week to continue building on what this years’ team has accomplished.” So as we say good bye to the 2011 Tigers, 2012 is just around the corner. Who will step up and become the new leaders of that team? Who will improve themselves in the weight room and earn a starting job? These are just a few of the questions to be answered during off the season and spring practice. Go Tigers and next season I hope “I’ll see you at the game.”