Last season in Shelbina, the Macon Tigers were marred by the leftovers of a hurricane and a tough Cardinal defense.
This season, the game was at Hugh Dunn Field, which took a lot of pressure off of Macon as they played host to arch-rival South Shelby Friday night.
The Cardinals would win the coin-toss and go on offense first, but the stout Tiger defense quickly forced a three-and-out and a South punt.
Macon began its first drive at its own 37-yard line. A short run by Joe Lewis, followed by an 18-yard run by Chris Little put the Tigers into position at the South 40. On the next play, the Tigers would fumble, and Cardinal Jacob Trivette covered it at his own 47 to end the threat.
On the very next play, South quarterback Brett Threlkeld lofted a deep pass that was picked off by Brendan Watts at the Tiger 25, giving his offense the ball back.
On the play that followed, Macon QB Craig Smith hit Lewis for a 40-yard gain to the Cardinal 35. A 16-yard run by Little got the Tigers to the South 19. After two good runs by Lewis, Little would punch it in from six yards out for the touchdown. With the PAT from Brandon Sontheimer, the Tigers led 7-0 with 7:48 in the first period.
On the kickoff return, Cardinal Adam Ellyson would drop the ball, and Tiger Luke Mosley came up with it, setting up Macon deep in South territory at the 16.
After forcing the Tigers into a 4th down at the 12, South would get the ball back after Alex Durbin picked off a Smith pass in the endzone for a touchback.
Starting at their own 20, the Cardinals would be called on two false-starts, eventually leading to a punt.
Macon had the ball on its own 27 in the closing minutes of the first period, but the Tigers got some big plays before the buzzer.
Smith connected with Mosley on a 16-yard completion. Smith later hit Watts on a 27-yard pass to the South 4.
The first quarter would come to an end right there, with the Tigers in scoring position, leading 7-0.
On the first play of the second period, Lewis would hit paydirt on a 4-yard touchdown run, giving Macon a 13-0 lead.
The Cardinals would go on a long drive following the kickoff, including a 30-yard run by Kevin Smithey.
South Shelby would get on the board with 6:45 left in the half on a 15-yard run by Threlkeld, cutting the Macon lead to 13-7.
On the Tigers next drive, Macon would drive down inside the South 35 and, with 5:07 until halftime, Smith connected on a nice 33-yard pass play for a touchdown, giving the Tigers a 19-7 halftime lead.
Page 2 of 2 - Josh Turner would also recover a fumble before the intermission.
On the Tigers first drive of the second half, Macon would convert on two fourth-downs, leading to another touchdown pass from Smith to Watts, this time for 17 yards, giving Macon a 25-7 lead with 7:15 left in the third.
South would get the ball at their own 49 after a short kickoff. Smithey would sprint 29 yards to the Tiger 22. Threlkeld would follow later with a 19-yard run to the Macon 2. He would punch it in from there at the 5:52 mark in the third, making the score 25-14.
Those, however, would be the final points of the ballgame, giving Macon a 25-14 victory over the rival Cardinals.
Craig Smith finished the night going 13-27 passing for 199 yards and two TDs.
Chris Little was the rushing leader, with 111 yards on 21 attempts, scoring a TD. Joe Lewis had 61 yards on 14 tries with a TD.
Through the air, Brendan Watts had five catches for 107 and two TDs. Lewis had four catches for 62 yards.
On defense Josh Turner led the team with six tackles. Clint Shannon followed with five tackles.
The Macon Tigers move to 1-1 overall (1-1 CCC) and will play their first road contest of the season Friday at Lankford Field against the Monroe City Panthers.