A year ago, the Macon Tigers were doubled up by Clark County after scoring four straight wins over the Indians, including two playoff wins.
This season, the Tigers looked for redemption against Clark County, with the game being played at Hugh Dunn Field.
The Indians would take on the ball first on the cool Friday night, and would waste little time starting the scoring.
Just 62 seconds into the game, junior Indians running back Jacob Trump would for 65 yards over three plays, ending in an 11-yard run for a score. The extra-point by Cole Birky gave the Indians a quick 7-0 lead.
Tiger running back Joe Lewis would bring the ensuing kick-off back to his own 40-yard line and, on the next play, hit the gas and rush 60 yards for the answer. Brandon Sontheimer's PAT was wide, giving Clark a narrow 7-6 lead.
Indian Brendahn Boatman would pick up the kick-off at his own 4-yard line and break several tackles for a 96-yard return for a score. Birky's PAT gave Clark a 14-6 lead.
Macon would get an immediate answer, as Lewis received the kick-off and outran everyone for a 65-yard return for a touchdown. The try for two points was no good, and Clark held a 14-12 lead just under two minutes into the game.
Things would slow back to normal speed for the remainder of the opening quarter. Macon would have two drives, while Clark had three; the third going to fourth down as the period came to an end, with the Indians leading 14-12.
The Tigers would get the ball back, starting their next drive on their own 43-yard line.
After an incidental face-mask penalty on Macon followed by a false start, Macon would eventually get the ball down to the Clark 1, where Craig Smith punched it in for the score, giving the Tigers their first lead, 18-14, with 6:42 until halftime.
After a short kick-off gave the Indians a short field, a steady dose of Trump and Birky would get the Indians down to the Macon 3-yard line. QB Jayvin Ray would run it in from there for the score. After the PAT, Clark led 21-18.
The Tigers had a chance to reclaim the lead just before halftime. Smith would complete three passes, one each to Lewis, Brendan Watts and Luke Mosley, setting Macon up at the 17, but an errant pass was picked off by Derreck Fowler to end the threat, leaving the Indians ahead at the break, 21-18.
Both teams would hold the ball three times in the third quarter, but would not culminate in anything. Clark County held the three-point lead, 21-18, heading into the fourth.
The Indians would punt the ball away to start the fourth quarter.
Page 2 of 2 - Smith would thread two passes to Watts for a total of 21 yards, then a 13 yard shot to Chris Little, getting the Tigers into Clark territory. With 8:38 to go, Smith would complete a pass to Watts, who cruised in for the score from 30 yards out. Sontheimer's PAT gave Macon a lead of 25-21.
On Clark's next drive, the Indians had a 1st & 10 at their own 39, when Ray took off on a 35-yard run to the Tiger 26. He would have four more runs on the next five plays, ending with a 5-yard touchdown run at the 5:15 mark. The PAT was blocked, giving the Indians a 2-point edge, 27-25.
The Tigers, on their next drive, faced a 4th & 6 at their own 39-yard line.
After dropping a pass on the previous play, running back Clint Shannon pulled in a 17-yard pass, giving Macon new life.
On the next play, Smith would shoot a pass at Watts, who just missed a score, going down at the Clark 1. Smith would punch it in on the next play for the score. Lewis would add the 2-pointer, giving Macon the lead back, 33-27, with 4:00 left.
After forcing a turnover on downs by Clark, the Tigers would ice the game at the 1:02 mark, as Smith connected with a wide-open Caleb Perry on a 28-yard touchdown pass. Smith then hit Jon Murray for the 2-pointer, making the final score 41-27, the Tigers with the win.
After the game, Macon head coach Pete Claas commented on his team taking the lead for good:
"Our guys are pretty resilient," he said. Things didn't go well for us early on but, when they needed to, they pulled it out. That's something about their character."
Claas also talked about how Clint Shannon, after missing one catch, came down with an even bigger one on the go-ahead drive.
"He stuck with the play and made a huge catch on fourth down," he said. "That was probably the play of the game."
Claas was also happy with his team's effort to stay with Clark after the two teams combined for 26 points with the first two minutes of the game.
"It was just back and forth for two or three minutes, but we settled in and played like we knew we could play," he said.
The Tigers improve to 3-1 overall (3-1 CCC) and travel to Highland Friday.