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Tigers advance with win over Loudon

The Macon County Tigers were big winners in the first round of the TSSAA football playoffs. Macon County hosted Region 3-4A #3 seeded Loudon.

The only other meeting between these two schools was a first round playoff game back in 2014. An undefeated Loudon team beat Macon that night 50-7.

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you and most times Tiger fans would say we get eaten. On this night we were Grizzlies.

On the first possession of the game, Tiger Zach Borders had a five yard touchdown run. The PAT was blocked and with 9:50 left in the first period the Tigers led 6-0. On the next possession Luke Gammon had a 20 yard option read that he converted for a score. Brother Eli made the kick and with 8:10 left in the first it was 13-0 Macon.

On the first play of the second quarter Gabe Borders had a seven yard touchdown run. Eli Gammon converted the kick and Macon led 20-0. With 5:37 left in the first half Zach Borders scored on a 33 yard run. Eli Gammon made the PAT and the rout was on at 27-0. On their next possession Macon ensured a running clock in the second half with a 50 yard run by Gabe Borders and a PAT from Eli Gammon. At the break Macon led 34-0.

Now some fans may not know that Loudon was without their regular starting quarterback and their leading rusher for the season. However, some fans thought that it would have made no difference to have those two starters as it might have been the best half of football the Tigers have played all season.

On their first possession of the second half Luke Gammon hit Gabe Borders for a 29 yard touchdown pass. Eli Gammon made the PAT and Macon led 41-0 with 5:22 left in the contest. Loudon added a score in the fourth quarter and your final was Macon 41 Loudon 7.

For the game Luke Gammon was 4 of 6 passing for 72 yards with one TD and one interception and had one rush for 20 yards. Backup Cooper Carlisle was 0 for 1 passing and had three rushes for 11 yards.

For the second year in a row, it was announced last week that Gabe Borders was a Class 4A ‘Mr Football’ semifinalist. He had six rushes for 80 yards and two touchdowns and had four catches for 72 yards and another score. Twin brother Zach Borders had nine runs for 83 yards and two scores. Dakota Ridgeway had two rushes for 20 yards. Bradon Warren, Bradyn Hasse, Tyler Gregory, Cole Stephens, and Killian Jetton had one rush each for ten, four, three, one and zero yards respectively.

It was another stellar night for the defense. Junior Hunter Griggs led the way with eleven tackles, two and a half for a loss. Jo Jo Scott, Braylon Flowers, Brody Frye, Dalton Slayton, and Tyler Gregory all had four each. Caleb Carter, Bradon Warren, and Isaiah Cates had three each.

In the second round of the playoffs the Tigers will now have to travel to Chattanooga to face Region 3-4A #1 seed in Red Bank. Last season at Red Bank the Lions defeated the Tigers 21-14 in the first round. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 pm at Red Bank Friday night.

(Photos by Julie Collins)