The #2 seeded Macon County Junior High Tigers defeated the unbeaten #1 seeded Avery Trace Raiders 42-26 to advance in their conference playoffs.
The Middle Tennessee Football Conference (MTFC) is a junior high football conference that consists of two divisions, east and west. They send the top two teams from each division into a post season playoff.
The Tigers wasted little time Thursday night as Gabe Borders ran back the opening kick-off 88 yards for the first score of the night. He also made the two point conversion and Macon led 8-0 at the 7:43 mark of the first period.
Following a score by the Raiders on a third and long conversion, on the next Tiger possession Zach Borders had a 38 yd run followed by his twin brother Gabe making the conversion. With 3:35 left in the first quarter many faithful thought this might be a track meet.
The Raiders running back Jaxon Rollands had his second 80+ yard touchdown run on the next possession and the first quarter ended with the Tigers leading 16-14.
Both defenses seemed to settle in a bit and slow down the offense. However Gabe Borders scored from one yard with 3:06 left in the half. The conversion was no good and at the break the Tigers led 22-14.
In the third quarter neither team scored as the defenses took over. Then someone flipped the switch.
With the opening play of the fourth period Gabe Borders recovered a fumble at mid field and returned it to the 18 yard line. Two plays later brother Zach scored from ten yards. The conversion was no good and the Tigers led 28-14 with 6:31 left in the game.
The fat lady wasn’t up just yet. The Raiders marched right back down the field and scored to make it 28-20 and seemed to be gathering a little momentum. Next they recovered and on-side kick at mid field. Rollands scored on a 48 yard run but the conversion failed. The Tigers were barely hanging on 28-26.
After the Tigers recovered the next on-side kick they marched down and Gabe Borders scored on an 11 yard run and the conversion failed to make it 34-26, still a one possession game in junior high.
However fans saw something that I don’t think I have ever seen in junior high. For some reason Jaxon Rollands was assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty and tossed from the game.
With the Raiders unable to muster any offense on their next possession, the Tigers got the ball back. Zach Borders scored on a 15 yard run and Luke Gammons snuck in the conversion to give us a final score of 42-26.
The Tigers will advance to take on Upperman for the MTFC Championship in Baxter next Thursday Sep 26th. The Bees handed the Tigers their only loss of the season on Aug 29th.