Tigers drop home opener to North Callaway

September 08, 2023

The Macon Tigers returned home last Friday and hoped to use some home cooking to even up their record on the young season against the North Callaway Thunderbirds. Macon had travelled to Kingdom City last year and defeated the Thunderbirds 33-0 last season.

The Thundercat’s won the toss and elected to receive the ball to open the game. They would down the ball at their own twenty-five-yard line. North Callaway would test the Tigers perimeter on their first play with a sweep, but Macon would drop them for a four-yard loss. Their next attempt would be up the middle, but Denver Gingrich would hold them to a one-yard gain. On third and thirteen a short pass for six yards was stopped short by Ryder Lewis and they would be forced to punt. Lewis would receive the punt with a fair catch at the Macon forty-two. Quarterback Jace Terry kicked off the office with a fourteen-yard completion to Skylar Reed into Thundercat territory. They two of them would hook up again for a thirteen-yard completion to the North Callaway thirty-one. The Tigers would attempt a run on the next play but what would be the first of several penalty’s, this one for holding sent the Tigers backward. Alex Moots would gain one of those yards back up the middle, but the next attempt would be dropped for a four-yard loss. Macon would call their first time out to talk over a third and twenty-three at the forty-four. Terry would give the ball back to Moots, this time through the air with a twenty-five-yard completion to the nineteen. Mickey Martie would be handed the rock on the next snap and would gain seven yards up the middle. After an incompletion on second down, Terry would keep the ball in his hands and gain six yards to the Thunderbird seven and a first down. Martie would be given the honor of taking it home from there and he would respond with a Tiger Touchdown. Martie would add two more points on the ground with a conversion and Macon led 8-0 with 6:29 to go in the opening quarter. After the kickoff, the South Callaway Thundercat’s (if you know you know) would take over at their own forty-four. They would take the ball into Tiger Country with a run up the middle for sixteen yards. Another run up the middle would gain three and it would be followed with a run on the perimeter for sixteen. With the ball at the Macon twenty-one, they would stay with the run for gains of six, eight and five yards to the Macon two-yard line. The Thunderbirds would take it across the goal line for a touchdown and convert for two points to tie the game at 8-8 with 3:14 to go in the quarter. Parker Jones would receive the kickoff for Macon and return it to the Tiger thirty-nine. Alex Moots would take the handoff and explode for a forty-yard gain all the way to the North Callaway twenty-one. Macon would be dropped for a two-yard loss on first down, but Martie would roll up four yards on second down. With a third and eight on the nineteen, Macon would attempt a sweep that would lose three yards. The Tigers would attempt to collect the first down with a pass, but an incompletion would turn the ball over on downs. North Callaway would try to get out of the shadow of their own goalpost with a run for no-gain with a tackle by Isaac Kauffman. A Personal foul on the Thunderbirds would send them back to their own eleven. The first quarter whistle sounded with dual eights on the scoreboard.

The second quarter opened with a run up the middle for three yards. Macon would keep them pinned deep with a run for no-gain and forcing fourth down. Macon would take over after the punt in great field position at the Thunderbird thirty-eight. Micky Martie would make things even better with a bone-jarring carry to the eleven. Things would begin to go south from there for the Tigers with a holding penalty on the next snap. Jonathan Bray would get eight yards back on a pass to the thirteen. Macon would give the ball back to the Thunderbirds with a fumble on the twenty. North Callaway would use a quarterback keeper to gain even yards to their own thirty-one. The next attempt up the middle would go for twelve to the forty-three. A run and a penalty on Macon would move the ball into Tiger territory at the forty. They would keep the ball on the ground and gain six yards on first down. Their next attempt would be stuffed in the backfield by Martie for a three-yard loss. On third and seven they would connect on a big gain through the air for nineteen yards to the Macon eighteen. The Thunderbirds would give five yards back on the next snap with a penalty. They would gain those lost yards back on the ground to bring up second and ten. A pair of incompletions would be followed by a Macon timeout with 4:45 to go in the half. The Tigers would be pulled off-sides on fourth down, but it would not be enough to give North Callaway a first down. Now facing a fourth and five at the Macon thirteen, the Thunderbirds would be whistled for a person foul penalty and a loss of downs giving the ball back to Macon. Macon would take over on their own twenty-eight after the penalty. Terry would go on a quarterback keeper for two yards on first down. A short pass to Lewis in the flat would be stopped for no-gain. After an incompletion the Tigers would be forced to punt. After a good punt the Tigers would be forced to punt again with a penalty flag on the field. The Tigers would get the punt away and it would take a Macon roll to the Thunderbird twenty-seven. After a nine-yard run to the thirty-six, a pass with a personal foul penalty on the Tigers tacked on would put the ball at the Macon forty-two. A five-yard run would move the ball to the thirty-seven, but a three-yard loss on a dual tackle by Kaufman and Martie sent them back to the forty. A long run by the Thunderbirds would be shorted to an eleven-yard gain after a block in the back penalty. North Calloway would call a timeout on the Macon twenty-nine with 1:17 to go in the first half. They would connect on a thirteen yard pass out of the break to the sixteen. After an incompletion, they would go to the ground and would be stopped for a one-yard gain on a tackle by Austin Wooten. After their second timeout with forty-seven seconds on the clock, North Callaway would gain elven yards up the middle to the four. Wooten would stop the next attempt up the middle for no-gain forcing the Thunderbirds to call their final timeout. The Tigers would be generous and cut the yardage in half with an illegal substitution taking the ball to the two. North Callaway would take it into the endzone on the next ball for a touchdown with ten seconds to go in the half. The 2-point conversion would be intercepted by Parker Jones, but the Thunderbirds now held an 8-14 lead. Macon would get the ball back on the kickoff and a nice return by Lewis would comeback with a penalty on the Tigers. Macon would elect to kneel out the half and we would go to halftime.

The Tigers would get the second half kickoff and Ty Kiser would return it to the Macon thirty. On first down, Martie would collect a pair of yards on the ground. A short pass to Lewis would gain a yard to bring up third and seven at the thirty-three. The Tigers would collect the first down on a thirty-four-yard pass from Terry to Bray flipping the field at the North Callaway thirty-three. Martie would nearly cut the yardage in half with a fifteen-yard run to the eighteen. Bray would gain three more yards on a short pass to the fifteen. Martie’s next attempt would be stopped up for a one-yard gain. Facing third and six the Tigers would attempt a pass that would fall incomplete. Macon would then try to convert on fourth down with a quarterback keeper by Terry, but it would be stopped short after a three-yard gain. North Callaway would take over on downs at their own eleven. They would take the ball to the nineteen with a run of first down. Their next attempt on the ground would be stopped short on a one-yard gain by Martie and Kace Holman. Facing third and one they would convert on a two-yard run up the middle. Another attempt up the middle would be stopped for a yard loss by Kauffman. The Thunderbirds would keep going the wrong way on the next snap with a holding penalty. They would then attempt a pass that would be broken up by Derek Weydert. Their next attempt would fall incomplete and would force a punt. Ryder Lewis would receive the ball and take it to the Thunderbird thirty-nine. The Tigers would attempt a swing pass on first down that would be stopped for a four-yard loss. After an incompletion, Martie would gain one yard on third and fourteen. The Tigers would be forced to punt the ball back to North Calloway that would roll to the Thunderbirds two-yard line. They would gain two yards on first down with a run up the middle. North Callaway would keep it on the ground and would turn up big yardage to the twenty-nine. The next attempt would gain five yards, but the Tigers would stop them for no-gain on second down. Facing a third and five they would attempt to convert with a pass. Skylar Reed read the pass to the sideline and stepped in front for a huge interception. Macon now was setup on the Thunderbird fifteen-yard line. The Tigers would open the drive with a run that was stopped for a four-yard loss. Martie would then get the ball and gain three of those yards back up the middle. His next attempt would gain two more yards to close out the third quarter of play with Macon looking to tie or take the lead.

The Tigers had the ball at the North Callaway fourteen facing a fourth down and nine. Terry and Bray would roll up a huge first down with a thirteen-yard pass to the one-yard line. The Tigers averted disaster by recovering a fumble on the next play, but an illegal shift would send them back to the six. Martie would be called on again and he would gain a yard to the five. After another run for no-gain and a penalty false start the Tigers had moved back to the ten. The next attempt would again go backward on a two-yard loss to the twelve. Facing a fourth and goal Macon was in dire need of a conversion. Terry dropped back and fired a strike into the waiting arms of Bray for a Macon touchdown. The two-point conversion would be no-good but with 8:55 to go in the game the score was tied at 14-14. The Thunderbirds would takeover after the kickoff at their own thirty-four. After a gain of two yards on the ground, Bray and Kauffman would stop them for a three-yard loss on second down. On third and eleven to go for the first down, North Callaway would use a quarterback keeper for three yards to the thirty-six. The Thunderbirds would be forced to punt. A bad snap sailed over the punters head, and he scrambled to recover, the Tigers came flying in and he managed to boot the ball away just in the nick of time. The punt sailed away, and the Tigers collided with the kicker. Macon was hit with a fifteen-yard penalty that would keep the Thunderbird drive alive at the Macon forty-nine. North Callaway would head back into their own territory with a five-yard penalty. They would try to regain the yards on the ground but would be stopped for a one-yard gain by Moots. Now facing a second and fourteen the Thunderbirds would convert on a crushing pass of twenty-three yards to the Tiger thirty. A run for eight yards was followed by a gain of three to the Macon nineteen with 3:59 to go in the game. On first down a quarterback keeper took the ball to the fifteen. On second down Wooten would stop them for no-gain on a run up the middle. After an incompletion would bring up fourth down, North Callaway called a timeout to discuss how to convert the first down. They would use a mis-direction handoff that would fool the Tigers and go into the right corner of the endzone. The 2-point conversion would be no-good, but the Thunderbirds had taken a 14-20 lead with 2:34 to go in the game. The kickoff would be returned by Moots to the Macon thirty-five with penalty of time for the Tigers. The drive would begin with a big gain on the ground by Martie for eighteen yards to the forty-seven. Bray would then go for five yards on a pass as the Tigers went into two-minute offense. The tigers would gain four more yards to bring up third down and one at the Thunderbird forty-three. Martie would convert the first down with a huge run up the middle for first down. With time ticking away on the Tigers they would attempt a pass that would be intercepted by North Callaway on the thirty-two. The Thunderbirds would take over and looked to run out the clock, they would start by taking too much time and would be called for a delay of game. After a run for no-gain, Macon would call a timeout with 1:02 left on the clock. North Callaway would gain eight yards on the ground and Macon would call their second timeout with fifty-seven seconds. On third and seven a gain of three yards would be followed by Macon’s last timeout with fifty-two seconds to go in the contest. The Thunderbirds would punt the ball away and Macon would take over at their own seventeen. The Tigers last hope would begin with a 4-yard pass to Lewis with forty seconds on the scoreboard. After a pair of incompletions, the Tigers needed to convert on fourth down and six from their own twenty-one. A pass to Reed and a penalty on North Callaway would be the answer for a first down at the thirty-six with seven seconds to go in the game. After a pair of incompletions, the Tigers would attempt another pass with four seconds to go in the game. The pass would be intercepted, and the Thunderbirds would kneel out the last second to hold on to their victory. The Tigers next game will be the winding trip North to Clark County to open conference play with the Indians.