A 28-point first-half outburst was all Macon County needed to take care of visiting Stone Memorial on Friday, as the Tigers’ 28-16 victory was their fifth consecutive win.
The teams’ first-ever meeting was important in the Region 3-4A realm, as Macon County clinched a postseason berth with the victory.
After a slow start by both sides, things picked up late in the first quarter as Seth Carlisle scored from three yards out to open the scoring. The Panthers matched the score after a lengthy drive in the second quarter, but the Tigers answered 22 seconds later on a 70-yard connection between Carlisle and Ethan Jenkins.
A 14-yard Noah Likens touchdown run added to the lead with 3:33 left in the first half, and – after a Stone Memorial fumble on the ensuing kickoff – the Tigers further extended the advantage on the next play. Carlisle found Chris Oliver for a 41-yard touchdown to give Macon County a 28-7 lead as the Tigers scored twice in 21 seconds.
Stone Memorial made a 41-yard field goal off the crossbar to end the first half with the Tigers holding a 28-10 lead, and the Panthers had the only score in the second half.
The Tigers outgained Stone Memorial 313-236, with Carlisle rushing for 103 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, and completing 5-of-12 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Michael Caery had a team-high 11 tackles on defense, while Chase Whittemore added nine stops, including three for a loss. Levi Bolton also had eight tackles for the Tigers.
The victory ensures that the Tigers will play for the region title against Livingston Academy on Oct. 27 regardless of any other results in the next three games.
Macon County will not play another home game until the season finale, beginning a three-game stretch of road contests at Portland next Friday.