Chris Brooks/For the Times Macon County senior Chris Oliver (7), sophomore Landon Whittemore (center) and junior Rodney Tuck tackle Nolensville junior Tim Coutras during Friday evening’s Class 4A first-round playoff game.

Chris Brooks/For the Times

Macon County senior Chris Oliver (7), sophomore Landon Whittemore (center) and junior Rodney Tuck tackle Nolensville junior Tim Coutras during Friday evening’s Class 4A first-round playoff game.

A season-long journey came to an end on Friday evening at Pat Parker Memorial Field.

Despite having home-field advantage in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, the Macon County High football team succumbed to visiting Nolensville in a 42-7 loss to end the 2018 campaign.

The Knights (7-4) scored on their opening possession and never trailed.

"We played an excellent football team," Macon County head coach Kyle Shoulders said. "They were a touchdown away in two separate ballgames from being No. 1 in that region. In fact, next week when they play Maplewood, it'll be a huge rematch. That region's tough. They've developed that reputation. I expect (Nolensville) to give Maplewood all they want."

The Tigers (5-6) struggled offensively, managing just 134 yards of total offense against Nolensville's defense. No Macon County ballcarrier gained more than 25 yards, and the Tigers had only three plays of 10 yards or more.

Macon County's longest play came when junior quarterback Jon Mark Gammons hit senior Chris Oliver for a 29-yard gain in the second quarter to get the Tigers away from their own end zone.

The Knights found the end zone on six of their eight possessions. The only time Nolensville did not score was on a missed field goal in the first quarter and on the final possession of the game as time expired.

Before the clock ran out, however, a pair of Tigers seniors connected for Macon County's lone touchdown, as Noah Likens found Oliver on a halfback pass in the end zone with 2:52 to play.

"Noah aggravated me all week about the fact that he was 1-for-1 (passing) for a touchdown in his high school career," Shoulders said. "Giving him the opportunity to make that play was special. It was a senior (throwing) to a senior late ... and that's pretty big-time, because they didn't quit."

Nolensville senior Colton Dooley scored the Knights' first three touchdowns on runs of 5, 2 and 19 yards in the first half. Just before halftime, sophomore quarterback Ryder Galardi hit senior Wesley Jones for an 8-yard touchdown, extending the Knights' lead to 28-0.

Galardi and junior Ryan Pistulka added rushing touchdowns of 17 and 5 yards, respectively, in the third quarter.

Ten seniors played their final game for the Tigers on Friday -- Likens, Oliver, Branson Henry, A.J. Alcorta, Will Talley, Kaleb Farber, Stephen Lancaster, Luis Peterson, Logan Malotte and Daniel Blankenship.

"In my years of coaching, I've heard the term, 'graduation will be good to us,' or whatever," Shoulders said. "That's not the case with us, per se, because this group of seniors is the heart and soul of our football team.

"They never let us lay down. They always kept us motivated in practice. They forced a lot of the underclassmen to show up and show out each day. It's an extremely special, special group of seniors."

Sophomore Ethan Jenkins finished the season as the Tigers' leading rusher (108 carries, 441 yards, 4 touchdowns), while Oliver (22 receptions, 379 yards, 5 touchdowns) was the team's leading receiver.

Junior Isaac Belton was Macon County's leading tackler (78 total tackles), while Malotte paced the Tigers' defense with 3.5 sacks.

Nolensville |7|21|14|0 – 35

Macon County|0|0|0|7 – 7

N – Colton Dooley 5 run. Luke Jenkins kick. N – Dooley 2 run. Jenkins kick. N – Dooley 19 run. Jenkins kick. N – Wesley Jones 8 pass from Ryder Galardi. Jenkins kick. N – Galardi 17 run. Jenkins kick. N – Ryan Pistulka 5 run. Nick Beattie kick. MC – Chris Oliver 9 pass from Noah Likens. Ryan Underwood kick.

|N|MC

First downs|18|8

Rushes-Yards|28-243|23-61

Comp-Att-Ints|11-22-0|7-20-2

Passing Yards|142|73

Fumbles-Lost|0-0|1-0

Punts-Avg.|0-0 |4-34

Penalties-Yards|7-67|7-37

RUSHING

Nolensville – Colton Dooley 15-95, Zach Campbell 1-53, Ryder Galardi 3-50, Jeffrey Weisel 5-23, Ryan Pistulka 2-15, Justin Phatsadavong 2-7.

Macon County – Isaac Belton 8-24, Noah Likens 8-17, Logan Whittemore 1-11, Branson Henry 2-9, Ethan Jenkins 2-8, Curtis Oliver 1-0, Jon Mark Gammons 1-(-8).   

PASSING

Nolensville – Ryder Galardi 11-22-0-142.

Macon County – Jon Mark Gammons 6-18-1-64, Noah Likens 1-1-0-9, Curtis Oliver 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING

Nolensville – Tim Coutras 7-85, Wesley Jones 2-40, Tim Stayskal 1-15, Zach Campbell 1-2.

Macon County – Chris Oliver 3-48, Landon Whittemore 1-7, Isaac Belton 1-6, Ethan Jenkins 1-6, Jacob Phelps 1-6.