Chris Brooks/For the Times Macon County High senior Isaac Belton hurdles junior teammate Landon Whittemore during a first-quarter carry against Livingston Academy.

Chris Brooks/For the Times

Macon County High senior Isaac Belton hurdles junior teammate Landon Whittemore during a first-quarter carry against Livingston Academy.

Entering Friday evening's contest against Livingston Academy, the Macon County High football team knew it had a big task to complete if it wanted to take down the sixth-ranked Wildcats.

However, the Tigers fell victim to the visitors' air attack, suffering a 42-6 loss on senior night at Pat Parker Memorial Field.

Macon County (5-5 overall, 2-2 in Region 3-4A) had no answers for Livingston Academy senior quarterback Will McDonald or his receiving corps as the Wildcats piled up 327 passing yards in the contest.

"We knew going in -- we've known all year -- they had three preseason all-state players on that side of the ball," Macon County head coach Kyle Shoulders said. "They showed tonight why they were preseason all-state, and when it's all said and done, it'll be three all-state players."

Three plays in, the Wildcats (10-0, 4-0) put their offensive firepower on display as McDonald hit classmate Aubrey Hollars on a slant route for a 62-yard touchdown.

The Tigers' first possession looked promising, but it stalled near the Wildcats' 30-yard line as Macon County turned the ball over on downs.

"Especially on the first drive, we were driving pretty good, and then, it was just a mistake here or there," Shoulders said. "We just couldn't get out of our own way at times."

McDonald drove the Wildcats down the field on the next series and found senior Wesley Smith for an 11-yard touchdown with 3:24 left in the first quarter. The pair hooked up for two more touchdowns in the second quarter of 23 and 29 yards.

"(McDonald) is in my opinion, second to none," Shoulders said. "But in saying that, (Smith) is as good as they come too. They're pretty potent, and I expect them to make some noise (in the playoffs)."

After Smith intercepted a pass from Tiger senior quarterback Jon Mark Gammons and returned it inside the Macon County 20, the Tiger defense forced a fumble, and junior Logan Whittemore fell on the loose ball to halt the Wildcat scoring chance.

Livingston Academy's next trip down the field ended in another score when McDonald hit junior Raven Carpenter for a 12-yard touchdown. It came on a slant route, a pattern that gave the Tiger defense fits most of the night.

"It kind of put us in a bind," Shoulders said. "We couldn't let (McDonald) sit back there and have all day, because if you give him time, he's going to pick you apart. He's going to check himself into good situations (before the snap), so we tried to get some pressure on him earlier and leave enough guys in the box to stop the run.

"The run game's good too. And for the most part, we shut the run game down, but in order for us to do that, we had to kind of leave ourselves vulnerable in the passing game."

Macon County got on the board before the first half ended with a 1-yard quarterback sneak from Gammons with 2:08 left in the second quarter. Gammons connected with junior tight end Landon Whittemore for a 66-yard gain on the previous play to set up the score.

However, the extra point was no good.

McDonald's third touchdown connection with Smith boosted the Wildcats' lead to 35-6 at halftime.

The Wildcats added one more score on their first possession of the second half, when McDonald found Carpenter for a 30-yard touchdown to cap an eight-play, 53-yard drive for the final points of the contest.

"Our guys have fought their tails off," Shoulders said. "And this doesn't really show how hard our seniors have worked. I can speak for the last two years. These guys have worked extremely hard."

Livingston Academy finished with 434 total yards to Macon County's 169. Senior Isaac Belton led the Tigers in rushing with 49 yards on 11 carries. Landon Whittemore finished with 95 receiving yards on four catches.

Defensively, junior Austin Robinson led the Tigers with 11 total tackles, while Belton finished with nine.

The Wildcats avenged last year's contest, a 27-21 Tiger victory in Livingston.

The result ultimately had no bearing on the region standings. DeKalb County defeated Cumberland County 41-6, making the Tigers the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. Macon County would have needed a win and a Cumberland County win to claim the region title. Instead, they'll be on the road in the first round with a familiar playoff opponent.

The Tigers will visit Nolensville for a rematch of last year's opening-round game in Lafayette, a game that the Knights won 42-7. Nolensville will enter the postseason on a two-game losing streak after starting the year 8-0, with losses at Franklin and Marshall County to conclude the regular season.

"Our goal all year is to eventually make a little noise in the playoffs," Shoulders said. "So, we've still got that ahead of us, and we're going to go back to work."

Livingston Academy 42, Macon County 6

LA|14 21 7 0 - 42

MC|0 6 0 0 - 6

LA - Aubrey Hollars 62 pass from Will McDonald. Tee Beaty kick. LA - Wesley Smith 11 pass from McDonald. Beaty kick. LA - Smith 23 pass from McDonald. Beaty kick. LA - Raven Carpenter 12 pass from McDonald. Beaty kick. MC - Jon Mark Gammons 1 run. Kick failed. LA - Smith 29 pass from McDonald. Beaty kick. LA - Carpenter 30 pass from McDonald. Beaty kick.


First downs|22|7



Passing yards|327|104





Livingston Academy - Nate Neely 12-90, Kaleb Robinson 8-22, Will McDonald 4-(-1), Nathan Cowgill 2-(-4).

Macon County - Isaac Belton 11-49, Hunter Herron 2-9, Ethan Jenkins 3-6, Jon Mark Gammons 1-1.


Livingston Academy - Will McDonald 23-30-0 327.

Macon County - Jon Mark Gammons 5-17-2 104, Braydee Brooks 0-1-0 0.


Livingston Academy - Wesley Smith 7-118, Raven Carpenter 8-90, Aubrey Hollars 2-61, Bryer Mosley 3-28, Nathan Carwile 1-12, Kaleb Robinson 1-12, Nate Neely 1-6.

Macon County - Landon Whittemore 4-95, Isaac Belton 1-9.