McKenzie senior running back Marquez Taylor carried eight times for 222 yards and six touchdowns, all in the first half, catapulting the Rebels to a 56-0 Region 6A victory at Perry County.
How thorough was this McKenzie performance? Shall we count the ways?
Taylor had 132 yards on four carries and three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game. His six touchdowns tied a single-game rushing mark set by Joseph Miller at Union City in 2017. At halftime, McKenzie had 344 total yards, Perry County just 22. In the second half, the officials shortened the quarters to eight minutes and still had a running clock. Oh, by the way, kicker Zach Aird booted all eight extra points and the the defense pitched a shutout.
The victory places the Rebels at 5-0 heading into next Thursday’s game at West Carroll.
Taylor, on the very first play from scrimmage raced, essentially, untouched 48 yards for the score in the first 27 seconds of the game. McKenzie tried to mix things up in the second possession, but Taylor broke loose for a 37-yard run with 8:15 to play in the first. On the first play of the third possession, Taylor bolted for a 45-yard score with 5:54 remaining. Again, the Rebels tried to mix it up and, on a fourth-down play, Taylor sprinted 39 yards for the score with 1:47 to play.
McKenzie economically led 28-0 at the end of the first frame on just nine plays.
The landslide continued to bury Perry County in the second period. Rebel senior quarterback Jackson Cassidy softened up Perry County’s defense with a pair of passes to Stafford Roditis that totalled 23 yards down to the Viking 6. From there, Taylor did the rest, lifting the Rebels to a 35-0 lead with 8:55 to play in the half.
Four plays into the Rebels’ next drive, Taylor dashed 32 yards to paydirt at the 4:13 mark of the second. McKenzie led 42-0. At that point, Taylor called it a night.
With the starters out, the understudies did well to close out the game. During McKenzie’s last drive, Etijay Tharp carried four times for 41 yards, the last tote a 10-yard jog to the end zone as time expired. The Rebels led 49-0 at the half.
Early in the fourth quarter, McKenzie sophomore quarterback Tate Surber located Landon Brown for a 45-yard scoring strike to lift McKenzie to its final 56-0 margin.
Surber was 1-1 for 45 yards and a touchdown passing. For the game, McKenzie racked up 389 total yards, 310 on the ground to Perry County’s 69.
The Rebels, 2-0 in the region, will play their lone Thursday night game at Atwood next week. West Carroll. The War Eagles suffered a 21-15 loss to Halls.