After rolling past Highland in their previous game, the Macon Tigers returned home Friday night for the 89th Homecoming game.
The Tigers have grown used to beating on teams that visit for Homecoming, and they looked to keep that train moving against the Louisiana Bulldogs.
The Tigers would win the toss and elect to defer to the second half, giving the Bulldogs the first shot.
Macon's defense came out ready to play, as they quickly forced a three-and-out and a Bulldog punt.
On Macon's first play from scrimmage at the Tiger 30, QB Craig Smith lofted a pass to Brendan Watts, who raced 51 yards to the Louisiana 19. After a short run, Joe Lewis found the endzone on a 17-yard scamper. Brandon Sontheimer's PAT was good, giving Macon a 7-0 lead.
The ensuing kickoff pinned the Bulldogs at their own 29-yard line, and the Tiger defense forced another punt.
Set up on the Macon 39, Smith connected with Josh Turner for 14 yards, and Chris Little ran for 8 yards. With 2nd & 2 on the Louisiana 39, Smith lofted another pass to Watts, who took it the rest of the way for a touchdown at the 6:41 mark in the first quarter. Sontheimer's PAT made it 14-0, Tigers.
After forcing another Bulldog punt, Macon got the ball at their own 36. Little would have a 12 yard run on 2nd down to the Bulldog 48, and later a 13-yard run on 4th down to the 27.
After a holding penalty backed them up to the 37, Macon got it all back and more, as Smith hit Jon Murray on a 21-yard pass to the Louisiana 16.
On the next play, Clint Shannon would race to the endzone for the score, making the score 20-0 after a quarter of play.
The Tigers would force another punt from the Bulldogs, resulting in a short punt, downed at the Louisiana 41.
On the following play, Smith would throw deep, and receiver Collin Patrick would haul it in for the touchdown. Sontheimer's PAT gave Macon a 27-0 lead just 19 seconds into the 2nd quarter.
After the two teams traded possessions, the Bulldogs had their first real shot at points, with a 1st & 10 at the Tiger 35.
Macon's defense once again turned them away, as D-back Josh Turner hauled in an interception near the sideline, giving his Tigers the ball at their own 16.
After a short gain on the ground, Smith would hit tight end Ty Smithson on a 43-yard pass play to the Bulldog 41.
Two plays later, on a 1st & 10 from the Louisiana 30, Smith would connect with Murray on a 20-yard pass to the 10, setting up 1st & Goal.
Lewis would punch it in for six two plays later on a 3-yard TD run, giving Macon a 33-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first half.
The Tiger defense would not allow Louisiana a first down in the first half, and would get the ball back late in the 2nd quarter. Another bad punt gave Macon a short field at the Bulldog 32.
After good runs by Lewis, Little and Shannon, QB Smith would hit Smithson on a 15-yard pass for a touchdown. The PAT by Sontheimer gave the Tigers a 40-0 halftime lead.
This would round out the Macon scoring in the game. Louisiana would get on the board with less than three minutes to go in the game, and would add a two-point conversion to make the final score 40-8, Macon with the win!
Following the game, Tiger coach Pete Claas commented on his teams' rebound from no points in the 1st quarter against Highland to 20 points in each of the first two periods against Louisiana.
"I thought we played very well coming out of the gate, both offensively and defensively," he said.
"We executed well and took care of business right off the bat. That's what we want to do, and during this game (Homecoming), you want to get off to a great start. We wanted to put them away early, and we were able to do that."
Claas was also very pleased with his defense, by not allowing a first down in the first half.
"They were dominating. They did everything they wanted to do," he said.
"Our first group, and some of our backups, couldn't have played much better."
With the Homecoming theme of "Honor, Courage, Commitment," Claas thought his boys lived up to that motto.
"I was very proud of their effort and their character for sure," he said.
The Tigers improve to 5-1 overall (5-1 CCC) and will travel south to Center this Friday night to take on the Mark Twain Tigers.
The remaining schedule included Senior Night on October 18 against the Brookfield Bulldogs, then a trip to Centralia on October 25.