After an impressive road victory over the rival Centralia Panthers, the Macon Tigers took to the road once again Monday night to take on the fifth-ranked California Pintos in the District title game.
The field conditions were not the best for the game; the temperature was falling fast, the wind was blowing, and there was drizzle that wouldn't stop.
The host Pintos would win the coin toss, and elected to defer, giving the Tigers the first crack. Macon would go three-and-out on their first drive, and would punt the ball to the high-powered Pinto offense.
After the Tiger defense forced California into a 3rd & 6 at midfield, senior running back Jerry Lutz would break loose for a big gain, being stopped at the Tiger 25 for a 25-yard gain.
After another first down by California moved the ball inside the Macon 20, the Tigers would force a fourth down by the Pintos, and sophomore kicker Aaron Cuevas would send a line-drive kick over the ball for a 30-yard field goal, giving California a 3-0 lead with 6:09 to go in the first quarter.
On the ensuing Macon drive, the Tigers would have a 3rd & short, and the Pintos would knock the ball loose and Lutz covered it, giving California the ball at the Tiger 37.
On the very next play, Pintos junior quarterback Jaden Barr would launch a pass to a streaking Jon Goans down the sideline for a 37-yard touchdown reception. Cuevas' PAT gave California a 10-0 lead which would stand up after the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Macon appeared to have something going. After a series of good runs, the Tigers had the ball inside the Pinto 20.
California would tighten up on defense, and would force Macon into a fourth down. The Tigers would attempt a fake field goal, but the Pintos would sniff it out, forcing a turnover on downs.
California appeared to be on the move once again. After Macon forced them into a 3rd and long play, Barr would complete a 39-yard pass to junior Walker Borghardt, setting the Pintos up at the Macon 21. After a short run and a false start penalty, Barr would attempt to run, but would loose the football, and Macon center Trey Kothe would cover it, giving the Tigers the ball at their own 13 yard line.
After two good passes to get near midfield, the Tigers would be forced to punt again. Just before halftime, QB Barr would break into the endzone from six yards out for a touchdown, giving Cali a 16-0 lead at halftime.
The Pintos would keep on driving in the second half. On their first drive of the third quarter, California would drive down and score on a 3-yard run by Lutz at the 5:46 mark in the third period. Cuevas' PAT made it 23-0.
Page 2 of 2 - Macon again had a promising drive, getting to midfield, but another fumble was recovered by Pinto Dustin Forsythe, giving California a 1st down in Macon territory.
A short time later, the Pintos would score once again, on a seven-yard scamper by Lutz, with 1:21 to go in the third. Cuevas' PAT made the score 30-0, California.
On the previous drive, Macon quarterback Craig Smith sustained an injury that would end his night.
Junior QB Aaron Brown would take over, but the Tiger defense still could do nothing against the stiff Pinto defense.
After the two teams traded possessions, the Tigers would have it back deep in their own territory. After another three-and-out, the Tigers were forced to punt. The snap would go over the punter's head and out the back of the end zone for a safety, giving California a 32-0 lead with 7:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Pintos would punch it into the endzone one more time, as junior Allan Burger would sprint in from six yards out, making the final score 39-0, the California Pintos with the win.
The Macon Tigers end their season with a terrific record of nine wins and three losses.
California improves to 11-1 overall and advances to the Class 3 State Quarters for the second straight year, with their opponent being the Bulldogs of McCluer South-Berkeley.