Launching Pad to Cookville
The Warriors blasted past the rockets last season en route to the State Title Game in 2015.
This season, they look even more poised to take the Championship than ever before as they head up to Chapel Hill once again. The Rockets, however, have a turkey in the oven themselves as they try for a post-Thanksgiving game this season.
Both squads come in with only one loss and have a total of four common opponents in Meigs County, Tyner Academy, Westmoreland, and Watertown. The Rockets, though, have struggled with Region 3-2A, only outscoring the the Rams and the Tigers by less than a touchdown in each matchup. Marion County, though, has completely dominated the Region 4-2A opponents it has faced thus far.
There’s something to be said, though, of a Rockets team that made it to the quarterfinals after being the underdog out of the postseason gates. Playing closely sometimes has its perks, but if Marion County can score early and effectively, the Rockets’ season may be finished after a home loss for the second straight season.
Marion County at Forrest
Murrey E. Holton Field (‘The Rock’), Chapel Hill, TN
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM CT/8:00 PM ET
RIVALRY RECAP: LAST TEN MATCHUPS
All Time Series Record: Marion County, 2-0 (2 Meetings Since 2009)
Warriors 38, Rockets 10; November 13, 2015
Warriors 20, Rockets 17; November 6, 2009
No Other Matchups Recorded
PLACE YOUR BETS
DISCLAIMER: These are not actual spreads or odds, and cannot be used in kind of sports betting context.
The Spread: Marion County (-24.5) at Forrest
Odds to Win: Forrest 4 to 1; Marion County 15 to 16
Over/Under (Total Points): (48.5 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
Marion County comes in on an 8-Game Win Streak
The Warriors have scored at least six touchdowns per contest in the past five games
The Rockets and Warriors played in Regions with Multiple AP-Ranked Teams
Marion County Dominated the Rockets Last Season in the 2nd Round, 38-10
INSIDE THE FILM ROOM
The Warriors have their Wing-T offense running on all cylinders as they get ready to take on the Final AP-Ranked Rockets. More balanced than ever as they continue to dominate the region, Marion County leaves no doubt that they’re destination is Cookeville. Plain and Simple. The Warriors have proven time and time again that they can handle whatever and offense can thrown at them with Mr. Football finalists Hunter McClain and Alex Kirkendoll. With Jacob Saylors and McClain giving Sophomore quarterback Isaiah Sampson all the help he can handle, Forrest might struggle defensively as they have with
Forrest is a rush-heavy team run out a shotgun formation with a wing to one side. Although their rushing attacks outnumbers passing by over a thousand yards, Layton Bennet has the arm to be deadly, especially downfield. Don’t underestimate the rushing attack either as they’ve been able to rush for over 2600 yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground. Jacob Jones leads the rushing attack with almost 500 yards on the ground, but several players will get their hands on the ball throughout the night. Expect some variation in formations as they look to be undermanned against the Warriors.
KEY ON-THE-FIELD MATCHUPS
Layton Bennett vs. Marion County Secondary
Bennett has some serious passing skills, especially downfield where he can be deadly at times. The Warrior secondary will definitely be tested if nothing else during this rematch of last season’s second round matchup.
Marion County Backfield vs. Rocket Linebacker Corps
Hunter Zeman and Hunter McClain have proven to be the biggest threats, offensively, for the Warriors this season. It will be a difficult task for the Forrest defense to undertake, so expect some emphasis on rush defense from the Rockets.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Marion County Warriors: Hunter McClain (Senior Linebacker/Running Back), Alex Kirkendoll (Senior Tight End/Linebacker), Eli Morrison (Senior Offensive Lineman), Jacob Saylors (Junior Running Back/Defensive Back), and Kane Hale (Junior Wide Receiver/Free Safety)
Forrest: Slayton Wild (Senior Tight End), Westley McCoy (Sophomore Running Back), Luke Cunningham (Senior Wide Reciever), and Nick McClendon (Freshman Running Back), Layton Bennett (Junior Quarterback), Josh Hill (Junior Offensive Tackle), Anthony Kritz (Senior Cornerback), and Jacob Jones (Senior Running Back).