Chris Brooks/For the Times Macon County junior Ethan Jenkins rolls out to pass during Friday’s contest against Trousdale County, though the play was called back due to a penalty.

Chris Brooks/For the Times

Macon County junior Ethan Jenkins rolls out to pass during Friday’s contest against Trousdale County, though the play was called back due to a penalty.

Momentum can change in a heartbeat, and the Macon County High School football team found that out the hard way.

Driving deep in Trousdale County territory, a Tiger fumble turned into a Yellow Jacket touchdown the other way in a matter of seconds, and the visitors never looked back in handing Macon County a 28-0 loss at Pat Parker Field last Friday evening.

That momentum swing was part of a tough start for the Tigers, who left 10 points on the field in the first 10 minutes of the contest before watching Trousdale County (4-1) take control of the game.

Macon County (3-3) took the opening kickoff and -- with help of a couple of Yellow Jacket personal fouls -- drove into Trousdale County territory before stalling. Senior Ryan Underwood's 37-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright as the Tigers came up empty.

The Tiger defense got off the field quickly, and Macon County went back to work on the ground. Two more Trousdale County personal fouls helped accelerate the drive, but it ended abruptly when senior Isaac Belton fumbled. Yellow Jacket sophomore Xavier Harper scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a 70-yard touchdown.

"I felt like our guys came out hungry … they came out excited," Macon County head coach Kyle Shoulders said. "They executed for the most part up front. We can't cough the football up. We get opportunities to put points on the board, and we've got to hit those field goals. We can't leave them with a short field."

Trousdale County junior quarterback Jayden Hicks added to the lead with a 45-yard touchdown run on the Yellow Jackets' next series.

"They ran quarterback counter on us early, and we overran it," Shoulders said. "We worked it all week, and we knew what was coming for the most part. The defensive staff did such an excellent job. They knew what was coming every single time, but if (Trousdale County) gets a step on you, they're taking it to the house … and they've got about six dudes that can do that."

The Tigers were moving into Yellow Jacket territory on their next series, but a holding penalty and a false start helped short-circuit the drive.

An illegal block in the back wiped out a 79-yard touchdown run for Trousdale County senior Ben Chumley, but the Yellow Jackets added to their lead anyway four plays later as Hicks hit senior Tarvaris Claiborne for a 79-yard score with 1:18 left in the first half.

"Early in the game, we had multiple opportunities in scoring range where we just came away with no points," Shoulders said. "It is what it is. (Trousdale County) really just broke a couple of long plays."

The Tigers quickly went three-and-out, though the Yellow Jackets failed in their efforts to add to the lead before the end of the half, as Belton hauled in an interception to end the Trousdale County drive.

Macon County was unable to cash in, however, and Trousdale County took a 21-0 lead to halftime.

The Yellow Jackets played keep-away to begin the second half, holding the ball for nearly nine minutes to start the third quarter, running 16 plays before Tiger senior Curtis Oliver intercepted Hicks inside the Tigers' 10 yard line.

"I told our guys that one thing I admire about them is their fight," Shoulders said. "At no point did I ever think that this team laid down on me. At no time was their effort in question."

Hicks scored on a 7-yard run with 3:44 to play for the final scoring in the contest.

Macon County was unable to find the end zone in the second half to avoid the shutout for the second consecutive season against the Yellow Jackets. Trousdale County won last year's meeting by the same 28-0 margin in Hartsville.

"I thought we played pretty well up front, especially with how good (Trousdale County's linemen) are," Shoulders said. "That's probably the best linebackers and defensive fronts we'll see all year, at least until maybe Livingston."

Belton was Macon County's leading rusher with 69 yards on 17 carries. Landon Whittemore had 41 receiving yards on four catches. Jon Mark Gammons completed 7 of 12 passes for 52 yards in the contest.

Austin Robinson was the game's leading tackler as he finished with 15 total tackles (eight unassisted and seven assists), while Belton finished with 10 (eight unassisted).

Hicks led all rushers with 111 yards on 13 carries. Kobe Ford added 56 yards on 12 carries, while Cameron Rankins chipped in with 53 yards on 13 attempts.

Trousdale County was penalized seven times for 102 yards. Six of those penalties were personal fouls on defense - five for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play and one for roughing the passer.

The Tigers return to region play this week as they host Stone Memorial. The Panthers will enter the contest with a 1-5 record and a four-game losing streak after a 33-14 loss at Kingston last Friday. A victory will clinch a playoff spot for the Tigers.

Trousdale County 28, Macon County 0

TC 7 14 0 7 – 28

MC 0 0 0 0 – 0

TC – Xavier Harper 70 fumble return. Heath Chasse kick. TC – Jayden Hicks 45 run. Chasse kick. TC – Tavaris Claiborne 71 pass from Hicks. Chasse kick. TC – Hicks 7 run. Chasse kick).


First downs 15 10

Rushes-Yards 43-246 29-80

Comp-Att-Ints 2-4-2 7-12-0

Passing yards 73 52

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1

Punts-Avg. 1-44 5-24.8

Penalties-Yards 7-102 5-40


Trousdale County – Jayden Hicks 13-111, Kobe Ford 12-56, Cameron Rankins 13-53, Ben Chumley 5-26.

Macon County – Isaac Belton 17-69, Ethan Jenkins 5-15, Cameron Houston 3-12, Austin Robinson 1-(-1), Jon Mark Gammons 3-(-15).


Trousdale County – Hicks 1-2-1 71, Rankins 1-2-1 2.

Macon County – Gammons 7-12-0 52.


Trousdale County – Tarvaris Claiborne 1-71, Hicks 1-2.

Macon County – Landon Whittemore 4-41, Houston 2-9, Belton 1-2.