One year ago, the Macon Tigers trailed the Brookfield Bulldogs at halftime, but would score twice in the second half to steal a 12-7 victory at Burlington Field.
This season, the Tigers would host the Bulldogs for Senior Night, and the weather would not be as nice as a year before.
The coniditions were ugly, with cold temps, chilly winds and drizzle all night. But, the rivalry is ugly, so it was almost fitting.
The Tigers would get the ball first, afterBrookfield deferred to the second half. Macon would quickly go three-and-out, handing the ball over to the tough Bulldog offense.
QB Anthony Cupp would complete two passes to RB J.J. Abongo, and would lead the 'Dogs down to the Macon 21, but the Tiger defense would come up with the stop, ending the threat there.
Macon's offense would again go three-and-out, giving it back to Brookfield. The Bulldogs would drive to the Macon 45, before a holding penalty and two bad passes forced Brookfield to punt.
The Tigers would get the ball at their own 15-yard line, and RB Chris Little would bring the ball out to the 30 on a 15-yard run. Macon would have it 1st & 10 at their own 40 as the first quarter ended with no score.
Macon would move the ball down field on what would be a 16-play drive. QB Craig Smith would hit Brendan Watts on a 15-yard pass, then Little had a 14-yard run, taking the ball to the Bulldog 11.
After Little ran the ball to the Brookfield 5, Smith would hit Watts on a pass for a touchdown. The PAT would go wide-right, giving Macon a 6-0 advantage with 7:52 in the second period.
On Brookfield's next drive, the Bulldogs would get the ball to their own 45-yard line, before stalling out and punting to Macon.
Bulldog kicker Art Huerta would sent the ball to the Tigers, and Macon receiver Josh Turner would outrun everyone to the endzone for a 55-yard return for a touchdown. The failed 2-pointer gave Macon a 12-o lead with 3:43 in the second period.
The Bulldogs' next drive looked promising, as Cupp would complete two long passes to Abongo, setting Brookfield up at the Macon 20. A short run, followed by a short pass, forced Brookfield into a 4th & 9 and, on the next play, Cupp would be picked off by Bradley Burkhardt to end the Bulldog threat. Macon would run out the clock in the half, with their 12-0 lead intact.
After trading drives to start the second half, Brookfield would find its rhythm, and would score on a 34-yard TD pass from Cupp to Abongo. The PAT from Huerta brought the Bulldogs to within 12-7.
Brookfield would keep up the pressure on the ensuing Tiger drive, as defender Dean Gall picked off a Smith pass at the Macon 30.
Page 2 of 2 - The Bulldogs looked to be moving, but Tiger Christian Thrasher would pick off a Cupp pass to keep Brookfield at bay.
As the game entered the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs would get the ball back and again drive into Tiger territory.
At the Macon 19, Cupp faced a 4th & 8 and would have a pass tipped and picked off by Josh Turner to turn the 'Dogs away once again.
It was a battle of defense until the end. Tiger LB Brandon Sontheimer would get two pick-offs in the period, the second ending the game, giving Macon a 12-7 victory and their 7th straight win.
After the game, Macon coach Pete Claas praised his defense for not backing down against the tough Bulldog attack.
"I can't say enough about our defense. Coach (Ben) Sontheimer put together a great plan, and they executed it," he said. "I'm extremely proud of our kids."
Claas was also pleased by the pass defense, which came up with a total of five interceptions in the contest.
"We bent, but we didn't break. We did what we had to do to win, and that is the mark of a quality football team," he said. "If you don't have your A-game, then you do what you need to do to win."
The Tigers improve to 7-1 overall (7-1 CCC) and will play their final road game of the regular season Friday night against the rival Centralia Panthers.
Macon has also secured a home game for the first round of Districts.