Chris Brooks/For the Times Macon County High junior tight end Landon Whittemore catches a pass as Westmoreland senior Seth Woodard (5) defends during Friday evening’s game. Whittemore caught three passes for 31 yards and recovered a fumble in the Tigers’ 21-11 loss.

Chris Brooks/For the Times

Macon County High junior tight end Landon Whittemore catches a pass as Westmoreland senior Seth Woodard (5) defends during Friday evening’s game. Whittemore caught three passes for 31 yards and recovered a fumble in the Tigers’ 21-11 loss.

WESTMORELAND -- For the second consecutive week, the Macon County High football team had a chance to pull out a victory in the closing minutes, only to have it snatched away.

Westmoreland intercepted a pass in the final two minutes and added a late touchdown to hand the Tigers a 21-11 loss at Eagle Stadium on Friday evening.

Macon County trailed 14-3 in the fourth quarter before senior quarterback Jon Mark Gammons snuck in from two yards out, and then, Gammons found junior Ethan Jenkins in the end zone for a two-point conversion to trim the Eagles' lead to three points.

Jenkins had the key play on the drive, hauling in a Gammons pass on fourth-and-15 and picking up 42 yards to keep the drive alive.

The Tigers (0-2) then forced Westmoreland (1-1) to go three-and-out on the next series, regaining possession with 1:41 to play. A pass interference penalty set up Macon County at the Eagle 40-yard line.

Two plays later, senior cornerback Quinton Sizemore stepped in front of a pass intended for Jenkins and raced down the sideline deep into Tiger territory.

The Eagles kneeled three times before Sizemore caught an 8-yard pass on fourth-and-goal to provide the final margin.

"I don't think it's necessarily anything to do with effort," Tiger head coach Kyle Shoulders said. "Our guys gave great effort all the way throughout the game, but it seems like we find a lull at some point in the game and drop down where it's hard for us to stay focused and be consistent."

Macon County's offense didn't find a lot of success, gaining just 3.3 yards per play on 50 snaps in the contest. Westmoreland outgained the Tigers in total yardage, 210-187.

"I thought the defense played well enough to win the football game," Shoulders said. "That's the second week in a row that offensively we've struggled to get the ball in the end zone for whatever reason."

In the first quarter, the Tiger defense created a scoring chance when junior Dylan Chupp sacked Westmoreland junior quarterback Ryker Hodge and knocked the ball free. Junior Landon Whittemore recovered for Macon County at the Eagle 13 yard line.

However, senior Cameron Mercer was unable to haul in a Gammons pass in the end zone on third down, and the Tigers had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from senior Ryan Underwood.

"Guys have an opportunity to make a play, and we've got to make plays when we can," Shoulders said. "We've got to continue to work hard. That's our only option."

The Eagles' next possession ended when Sizemore missed a 31-yard field goal attempt with 1:57 remaining in the first quarter.

After a Tiger three-and-out on the ensuing series, Westmoreland took the lead as junior Collin Casteel scored on a 20-yard touchdown run to cap a 10-play, 65-yard drive that found new life after a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave the Eagles an automatic first down.

It was mistakes, such as that penalty, that kept costing the Tigers valuable field position.

"We're somewhat of an inexperienced football team," Shoulders said. "That doesn't necessarily mean we're playing all underclassmen, but some of them just didn't have a lot of playing time."

Westmoreland took a 7-3 lead into halftime and held it through a scoreless third quarter. The Eagles took advantage of an interception early in the fourth quarter, with Hodge finding Sizemore for a 31-yard gain to Macon County's 9 yard line. The Tiger defense held for three plays, but junior tight end Gavin Whiticker popped open in the end zone on fourth down, and Hodge connected with him as the Eagles took a 14-3 lead.

Senior Tyson Leduc rushed for a game-high 104 yards on 20 carries to pace the Eagles. No other Westmoreland rusher had more than 16 yards in the game.

Hodge completed all six of his passes for 64 yards.

Senior Isaac Belton led the Tigers with 30 yards on eight carries.

Junior linebacker Austin Robinson and senior defensive lineman Levi Borders each finished with eight tackles for Macon County's defense, while Belton added seven stops.

Leduc was Westmoreland's leading tackler with six tackles and one sack.

The Tigers hit the road again this week, traveling to Mt. Juliet Christian Academy for a non-region contest. The Saints enter the contest with a 1-1 record after a 28-7 victory at Grace Baptist last Friday.

Westmoreland 21, Macon County 11

Macon County|3 0 0 8 – 11

Westmoreland|0 7 0 14 – 21

MC – Ryan Underwood 27 field goal. W – Collin Casteel 20 run. Quinton Sizemore kick. W – Gavin Whiticker 4 pass from Ryker Hodge. Sizemore kick. MC – Jon Mark Gammons 2 run. Ethan Jenkins pass from Gammons) W – Sizemore 8 pass from Hodge. Sizemore kick.


MACON COUNTY – Isaac Belton 8-30, Ethan Jenkins 7-26, Cameron Houston 5-20, Austin Robinson 4-14, Logan Whittemore 2-4, Jon Mark Gammons 4-(-4).

WESTMORELAND – Tyson Leduc 20-104, Corban Kemp 4-16, Collin Casteel 5-9, Ryker Hodge 4-7, Jake Smith 4-5, Seth Woodard 1-4, Ayden Satterfield 2-1.


MACON COUNTY – Gammons 7-23-2 84, Jenkins 2-3-0 13.

WESTMORELAND – Ryker Hodge 6-6-0 64, Quinton Sizemore 1-1-0 0.


MACON COUNTY – Landon Whittemore 3-31, Houston 3-25, Jenkins 1-31, Cameron Mercer 1-8, Dylan Chupp 1-2.

WESTMORELAND – Sizemore 4-51, Saul Suiter 1-9, Gavin Whiticker 1-4.