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Tigers Open Season with Win

In a wild shootout, Macon County came away with an opening season win at East Robertson last Friday night.

Following a gifted Indian turnover on the opening kick-off, Luke Gammon hit Gabe Borders with a 28 yard touchdown pass with 7:50 left in the opening period. Bryson Higgins made the PAT and Macon led 7-0. It took East Robertson one play to go 69 yards but the conversion was no good making it 7-6. On the next possession Gabe Borders ran it in from eight yards out and Higgins converted the PAT. At the end of the first quarter Macon led 14-6.

East Robertson then marched down on their next possession, scored, and successfully made a two point conversion. With 8:57 left in the half it was tied 14-14. On the ensuing kick-off Zach Borders ran it back 75 yards for the touchdown. Higgins kicked the extra point and the Tigers were once again on top 21-14. The Indians then took only two plays to score again and tie the game 21 all.

Macon then went on a nine play 69 yard drive that consumed six and a half minutes of the clock ending with a Luke Gammon one yard rush and Higgins PAT. The Tigers led 28-21 with 1:09 left in the half. East Robertson then marched down the field and had it fourth down and goal from about the 20 yard line with less than 10 seconds to go.

In a sequence of events that I have never seen in 18 seasons of broadcasting high school football, and which has yet to successfully be explained to me, the officials made a call that still has no explanation. The Indian quarterback was flushed out and ran out of bounds at the nine and the side judge threw a flag on a bang-bang play on the Tigers. The Macon defense said something and he threw another flag. So judgments happen, so let’s just say both of those penalties were warranted.

The officials then signaled a dead ball foul, indicating that the offense happened after the play, and gave the ball back to the offense, from the spot of the foul, then assessed both penalties at half the distance to the goal. I do not understand the call or have never seen an assessment like it of any kind. A quarter cannot end on a defensive penalty so the Indians got an untimed down from the two yard line, thus earning a gifted touchdown on the next play. The conversion failed and it was 28-27 at the end of the first half.

Macon would consume a lot of the third quarter but turn the ball over on an interception that the Indians returned down to the 13. They would score four plays later, aided by a few more questionable calls. So with 5:58 left in the third period East Robertson led 33-28. Macon would take eight plays and just over five minutes to march down and score on five yard run by Zach Borders. With the numbers telling them to do so, Gammons rushed for the two point conversion. With 52 seconds left in the third the Tigers were back on top 36-33.

The Tigers would get the ball back with 9:09 left in the game and move down the field and score with 2:24 left in the game on a five yard run by Gabe Borders. Higgins made the PAT sealing the win by a final score of 43-33.

Neither team would punt the entire game and there were 27 penalties that were called totaling almost 250 yards (not even counting what wasn’t called or was misapplied). It was one of the the worst and most one-sided officiated games I believe I have ever seen.

For the game sophomore quarterback Luke Gammon, in his first start, was 2 of 5 passing for 69 yards with one scoring pass and one interception. Gammon also rushed five times for 11 yards. He also successfully ran twice for two point conversions.

It was a huge night for the sophomore Borders twins. Gabe Borders rushed 19 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns, catching two passes for 69 yards and another score. Brother Zach ran for 105 yards on nine carries and a score himself. Tyler Gregory rushed for nine times for 18 yards and Braden Warren ran four times for 19 yards.

On defense senior Mason Swindle led the way with eight stops and one tackle-for-a-loss. Tyler Gregory added seven tackles, Zach Borders five, Gabe Borders three, and Braylon Flowers three.

Next up for the Tigers will be the home opener against Westmoreland on Friday August 26th at Pat Parker Field. The Eagles defeated Portland last week 14-13 in Westmoreland. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 pm.

(Photos by Julie Collins)