A number of people predicted that the Macon Tiger football team would be under .500 for the 2012 season, but these boys have proved them all wrong.
The Tigers came into Friday night looking for their fifth win in a row, but it would be a tall task, as the 7th-ranked Panthers of Centralia came calling.
It was Senior Night, and MHS recognized the efforts of the 14 seniors during the regular season.
The Panthers would receive the opening kickoff, and seemed to get out of any problem the Tigers caused. The Panthers, led by QB Zach Etzler, would convert a couple of long third downs to keep the ball, but Macon's defense would eventually win out, forcing a Panther punt.
The Macon offense tried to get something going, but the Centralia defense seemed equally stout, as they forced a turnover.
With 2:39 left in the first quarter, the Panthers would strike first on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Etzler to receiver Gannon Peavler. The extra-point by Chandler Kovar went through, and Centralia held the 7-0 lead following the first quarter.
A few minutes into the second quarter, Centralia looked to be on the move again, but the Macon "D" shut the door, as lineman Kendall Kothe recovered a fumble to give the Tigers a decent shot at points, but the Panther defense would force another punt to keep them off the board.
With the clock winding down in the first half, the Panthers padded their lead, as Kovar hauled in a pass from Etzler for a 10-yard TD reception. Kovar added the PAT to give Centralia a 14-0 halftime lead.
Macon would take the opening kickoff and, 55 seconds later, ram it down the Panthers' gullet, as running back Tyrone Walker broke loose and sprinted 66 yards for the touchdown. The PAT from Andre Reynolds cut the Panther lead in half, 14-7.
Near the end of the third quarter, Macon had the Panthers pinned deep in their own territory, and linebacker CJ Gast would pick off an Etzler pass to end the threat, keeping the score 14-7.
In the fourth quarter, Macon looked to make some more noise, but a recurring theme would plague them: one negative play seems to kill the whole drive. The Tigers would have this happen a couple of times in the game, erasing any momentum they had gained.
With 2:25 to go, the Panthers would ice the game on a 6-yard TD run by running back Cullen Ralphs. The PAT was no good, making the final score 20-7, Centralia.
The Tigers fall to 6-3 overall (6-3 CCC).
Macon secured the 4th seed in the District, and will host the Chillicothe Hornets Thursday night.