The Macon County Tigers won a thrilling game at unbeaten Stone Memorial Friday night. The Tigers won by a final score of 35-34.
The Tigers seemed to start this one a little salty. On the opening kick-off Gabe Borders returned it 63 yards for the score and Bryson Higgins made the PAT. On the very next possession the Macon defense blocked a punt and Borders scored. Higgins made the PAT and with 7:29 left in the first quarter Macon led 14-0.
A pause to highlight something. Gabe Borders in eight games has scored a touchdown in every way that I can imagine. He has rushed for one, passed for one, had a reception for one, scored on a punt return, scored on a kick-off return, had a pick-six interception, and finally had a scoop-and-score. I cannot remember ever seeing this in high school or college football.
Now Stone isn’t unbeaten for no reason. They would come back and tie the game with 7:17 left in the first half. With 2:57 left in the second Borders would score from 28 yards and Higgins made the PAT. Stone tried to advance the next possession but had to punt. With 0:33 left in the first half, Kyle Shockley hit Braylon Flowers with a 22 yard scoring pass. Higgins point-after would give Macon a 28-14 lead at the break.
Stone would score one in the third and another midway through the fourth to tie the game again 28-28. Then backed up on their own 27, Shockley would hit Borders for a 73 yard score. Higgins PAT made it 35-28 with 6:59 left in the game.
Stone then proceeded to march down the field and score with 2:10 to make it 35-34. Now Stone had made three of their four extra point kicks in the game thus far. With his team playing well Coach Samber decided that he would win-or-lose the game on one two point conversion. It had worked with his late score and conversion for the win over Upperman earlier in the year.
In what turned out to be the play-of-the-game, defensive tackle Brody Frye deflects a pass to a wide open receiver in what was an inconceivable effort play to turn away the Panthers. Julie Collins, our award winning photographer, even captured the moment.
The Tigers were able to run out the clock to end the game and seal the victory. Final score Macon 35 Stone 34. This now puts the Tigers back in charge of their own destiny.
For the game Gabe Borders caught three passes for 135 yards and a score and ran 14 times for 85 yards and a touchdown while scoring on a kick-off return and a scoop-and-score following a blocked punt. Shockley was 5 of 8 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns and ran seven times for eight yards. Branden Warren ran four times for eight yards and Braylon Flowers had one catch for 22 yards and a touchdown.
In the game Mason Swindle recorded 17 tackles, one sack and two others for a loss. Brody Frye recorded 11, Tyler Gregory had nine, Gabe Borders seven, and Braylon Flowers and Jo Jo Scott six.
This sets up another huge game in two weeks. Macon will have to travel to Smith County on Oct 21st and will undoubtedly be the underdog to the 6-1 Owls. However Macon can still win their region.
Here is what we believe could be the scenario. With Upperman, Stone, and Macon all having one loss and the losses coming against each other the next tie breaker will be overall record then opponents wins. We believe that if the Tigers can win-out they could capture the first district/region title in 44 years.
Kick-off for the Smith County game will be on Oct 21st at 7 pm.
(Photos by Julie Collins)