CHATTANOOGA, TENN.–No.2 ranked Marion County took advantage of a quick start offensively and solid defense as the Warriors beat Tyner 25-6 at Finley Stadium on Thursday.
The Warriors dominated both sides of the ball as Marion County offensively gained 353 total yards and defensively allowed 180 yards. Marion County was led offensively by Hunter McClain who finished the night with 157 yards rushing on 16 carries and one touchdown. Jacob Saylors also helped pace the dominant running game for the Warriors as he had 75 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. The Warriors ran the ball for 255 yards on 44 carries.
“We got in sync early on the offensive side of the ball and were able to move the ball well,” Marion County head coach Joey Mathis said. “They [Tyner] did good about adjusting to what we were showing them but we hung our hats on the defense tonight and they came through again.”
The Warriors defensively were dominant all night long as Marion County held Tyner to 180 yards of total offense and forced two crucial turnovers. The Warriors were able to bring pressure on the quarterback throughout the game by forcing two interceptions and two sacks. Kane Hale and Nick Capps were responsible for the two interceptions and Corey Tucker and Manny Burkes were credited for the sacks.
“Defensively we are playing very well right now,” Mathis said. “We expect good things out of our defense, they stay in there and fight till the end. They don’t give up the big home run plays like some defenses do and they make teams earn every yard.”
Marion County started the game off quickly on a four-yard touchdown run by McClain to put the Warriors up 7-0. Shortly after the first touchdown, the Warriors scored again on eight yard run by Hunter Zeman to extend their lead to 13-0. One minute of game time later, Marion County extended their lead to 19-0 after a three yard run from Saylors.
The Warriors capped off their hot start with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Sampson to Zeman to put Marion County up 25-0 with 7:11 left in the first half.
The second half was a defensive showdown as each team was forced to punt on each drive. Tyner was able to find the end zone early in the fourth quarter as Shaylan Bailey found Martavius Ryals on a five-yard pass to cut the lead down to 25-6. The Warriors were held scoreless in the second half.
With the win, Marion County likely has the No. 1 region seed going into the postseason, but the road is not cut and dry as they still face three region opponents, travelling to two. Boyd-Buchanan and Tyner were the early favorites to take down the Warriors in region.
Marion County improves to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the district with their win over Tyner and travels to Silverdale Academy next Friday. Tyner falls to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the district and will host Bledsoe County in week eight.
MCHS – 19 | 6 | 0 | 0 || 25
TA – 0 | 0 | 0 | 6 || 6
1st (6:38) Hunter McClain, 4 yard rush [McElroy Kick Good]-Marion County 7, Tyner 0.
1st (3:54) Hunter Zeman, 8 yard rush [McElroy Kick No Good-Marion County 13, Tyner 0.
1st (2:29) Jacob Saylors, 3 yard rush [McClain 2-Pt Conv. No Good]-Marion County 19, Tyner 0.
2nd (7:11) Isaiah Sampson 66 yard pass to Zeman [Saylors 2-Pt Conv. No Good]-Marion County 25, Tyner 0.
4th 11:01 Shaylan Bailey 5 yard pass to Martavius Ryals [#89 Kick No Good]-Marion County 25, Tyner 6.