TSSN GAME OF THE WEEK PREVIEW: The Marion County Matrix

From the outside, one could see that Region 3-2A is too exciting and too dominant to be made by chance.

Did someone call Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne? No, well maybe we should investigate the inner workings of the State’s most intriguing and championship-worthy conference on our own.  How else do you think the Warriors could get break after break, err, blowout after blowout in 2015?

It’s a theory, but think about it.  The only team the Warriors lost to in 2015 was Boyd-Buchanan.  Now, everyone and their brother knew those two teams would meet up in the postseason, but Tyner, who edged out a six point win against the Buccaneers were all ‘gamed-out’ by the time they got to the Warriors kingdom in Jasper.  The top-ranked Buccaneers were nowhere to be found.

Maybe the Warriors didn’t win a title in that string of events, but now the region is still up for the Warriors taking as long as they win.  Meigs County, better.  Tyner, Better.  Boyd-Buchanan, same level.  Every other 3-2A team, better.  Yet, the Warriors are still favored and what do you know, better than 2015.

It’s a wild theory, but explore your mind and choose between the Purple and Orange pill for this Week Three, Region 3-2A showdown.

PLACE YOUR BETS

DISCLAIMER:  These are not actual spreads or odds, and cannot be used in kind of sports betting context.

The Spread:  Meigs County (+16.5) vs. Marion County

Odds to Win:  Marion County 2 to 1; Meigs County 6 to 1

Over/Under (Total Points):  (54 Points)

Breaking Down the Bets:  ‘The Spread’ is based on who is favored in the matchup and by how many points.  ‘Odds to Win’ are the odds for a certain team to win that game and is not related to the odds of ‘The Spread.’  The ‘Over/Under’ is how many points both teams are expected to combine for, unrelated to ‘The Spread’ or “Odds to Win.’  These betting lines are simply to display what Vegas would perceive the matchup at and cannot be used in any sports betting enterprise.

QUICK HIT STORYLINES

Meigs County will be out to get revenge for 2015’s shelacking in Athens

Marion County is looking to start 3-0 for fifth consecutive season

Tigers return a lot of players on both sides of the ball 

Both teams have outscored opponents 152-26 over four combined games

INSIDE THE FILM ROOM

The Tigers bring in a lot of seasoned playmakers on both sides of the ball, and although they seemed outmatched by Marion County, the edge is only slightly in the Warriors’ favor on paper.  Meigs County plays with a lot of Pro sets with one or two backs and tight wide receiver slots.  Led by senior quarterback Clint Oliver, the Tiger boast a lot of playmakers in running back/wideout Zy Moore and senior tailback Logan Fowler.  Look for a lot of balance with preference on the run like most Sequatchie Valley teams.  The Tigers will need to work on the passing game to try and pull off the upset in Jasper.

Marion County will run a lot of Wing-T mixed in with some spread out sets.  Fans could expect to see either Hunter Zeman or Isaiah Sampson depending on the formation and scheme, but Zeman is expected to take snaps with a very talented backfield.  The Warriors will run the ball without hesitation, but if they need the passing game they can go to it.  The Tigers’ defense has held up thus far, but they haven’t faced an offense the caliber of Marion County or Region 3-2A as a matter of fact.  It will be interesting to see if Meigs County can stop the pass enough to keep the Warriors on the ground, which bodes better for a run-heavy team.

GAMEDAY GRADES

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KEY ON-THE-FIELD MATCHUPS

Zy Moore vs. Alex Kirkendoll

Moore is a basketball player that found a beat on the gridiron while Kirkendoll is a seasoned, All-State player.  The contrast of both makes an intriguing matchup alone, but the fact that they’ll be facing each other on a constant basis makes it all the more interesting.  Kirkendoll is listed as an outside linebacker, so Moore will need to avoid whatever side he ends up on to be semi successful against the Warriors.  Kirkendoll will be a tackle-hunting machine this week if Moore finds the his home on the strong side.

Warrior Secondary vs. Clint Oliver

The Warriors’ secondary is not the premier position on defense, so the Tigers need to embrace it if they want a chance in this one.  They have some playmakers on the outside and through the air, but Oliver will have to make some passes, short and deep, t create balance early.  The more you can keep Marion County on edge, the better. Oliver should look to Zy Moore, Cam Harris, Jr., and others for his downfield threats.  If he has a good night, the Tigers have likely played a close game with the Warriors.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Meigs County Tigers

Zy Moore (Senior Wide Receiver/Running Back/Defensive Back)

Jesse Rayl (Senior Defensive Back)

Cam Harris, Jr. (Senior Wide Receiver/Defensive Back)

Clint Oliver (Senior Quarterback)

Mitchell Fowler (Junior Offensive/Defensive Line)

Logan Fowler (Senior Halfback)

Marion County Warriors

Hunter McClain (Senior Linebacker)

Alex Kirkendoll (Senior Tight End/Linebacker)

Eli Morrison (Senior Offensive Lineman)

Jacob Saylors (Junior Running Back/Defensive Back)

Hunter Zeman (Senior Quarterback/Linebacker)

Kane Hale (Junior Wide Receiver/Free Safety)

 

Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter@RCS_Chandler!

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