The Macon County Tigers won their final game of the regular season in a spectacular come-from-behind finish. It is perhaps the most thrilling ending to a Macon game that I have ever seen.
Both defenses were stiff as neither team was able to score in the first quarter. Stone scored on a touchdown pass with 9:08 left in the second quarter to take a 7-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Tigers took the second half kick-off and drove right down the field. They scored on a two yard run by quarterback Luke Gammon and converted the kick by Eli Gammon to tie the game with 9:40 left in the third. Three plays later Stone scored again with a 78 yard touchdown pass. The Panthers retook the lead 14-7 with 8:31 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers were able to drive down to the Stone 27 but turned the ball over on downs with 1:39 left in the game, still down 14-7. Macon was able to use all their time-outs to force a punt and got the ball back with 1:09 left on the Panther 45 yard line.
On the first play Gabe Borders threw his first touchdown pass of the year to Braylon Flowers for a 45 yard touchdown. The Tigers lined up for the extra point to tie the game, to send it to overtime, when fate intervened.
Gabe Borders is also the holder on extra points and he bobbled the snap. Eli Gammon shouted ‘FIRE’ which triggers Macon backs to the end zone. As Borders fell back he completed the pass to Tyler Gregory for the un-intended two point conversion. In the 48 minute game Macon took their first and only lead with 0:50 seconds left at 15-14. One side of the stadium was uncontrollably wild with joy while the other side was dumbfounded.
The Tiger defense closed out the game, shutting down Stone and Macon gets the victory 15-14.
For the game Luke Gammon was 4 of 13 passing for 52 yards and ran 11 times for 46 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Borders threw one pass for 45 yards and touchdown and ran 17 times for 64 yards, while also catching two balls for 26 yards. Zach Borders had 12 carries for 65 yards and had one reception for 10 yards. Braylon Flowers had one catch for 45 yards and a touchdown and Matthew Wheeley had one catch for 16 yards.
The Tiger defense has to get a lot of credit for this win. One thing that will not show up on the stat sheet is a goal-line stand. Stone had the ball first-and-goal from the one yard line in the third period, and could not score. This stand undoubtedly kept the Tigers in the contest. Brody Frye led the defense with seven tackles, three for a loss. Ty Young, Hunter Griggs, and Braylon Flowers had six each and Gabe Borders, Bradon Warren, and Isaiah Cates had five apiece.
With the win the Tigers finish the regular season 9-1 and second place in Region 4-4A. They are the seventh team to finish near perfect, the last being the 2003 team.
Macon will now host the first round of the play-offs next Friday night. They will face #3 seeded Loudon from Region 4-3A. Macon’s only other meeting against the Redskins was a first round playoff game at Loudon in 2014 which resulted in a 50-7 Loudon win. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 pm.
(Photos by Julie Collins)