Don’t Pass to Conclusions
The Warriors and Bears had a hard time getting the ball off the ground in the first half. But once they got it going, the game really jumped off the map. Marion County and Trezevant combined for a whopping zero yards in the 1st quarter and late into the 2nd. By the end of the half, Toney Sampson amassed 57 and Tywon Johnson threw for 27, but all those yards came from three plays–2 from Sampson and one from Johnson. Both teams combined for 34 yard passing in the second half, adding up to 117 passing yards on the day for both.
Injuries a Major Factor Late
You could have heard a pin drop when Hunter Zeman appeared to be unconscious on top of a Trezevant player too afraid to move in fear of injuring Zeman even more. That is from the Marion County side of the field. Regardless, Zeman was the sparkplug for the offense and on special teams, so to lose him was a really crushing blow to the Warriors. Several playmakers still remained, but with the addition of another injury to fellow senior and linebacker Corey Murray, the Warriors were deflated against a tough team in Trezevant.
Title Game Experience Not Very Valuable
Unlike in the college and pro ranks or even in the high school playoffs, experience doesn’t necessarily may a thing–even against a familiar opponent. As much preparation as the Warriors put into this title game, Trezevant was still as much a mystery as any West Tennessee team would be. The Warriors and several other Valley teams should consider playing teams across the state to remain prepared for the Cookeville experience.
A Kicking Game to Boot?
The most amazing aspect that both of these teams had in common was the lack of a kicking game. Houston McElroy had a pretty good day from the tee, going 2-for-3 on PATs and not attempting a field goal. Trezevant, on the other had, went for the 2-point conversion after every single touchdown, probably for the lack of a kicking game. It’s very unlikely that a team who runs out of a Power-I would be so innovative and listen to numbers, so it’s a miracle that Trezevant even made it to the Title game, let alone win against a team good on the defensive side of speecial teams.
Sometimes There are No Words
As much as journalists what the best quotes and a lot of wordage on those quotes, there are no words to describe the agony that
Warriors faced when they got their rhythm going then lost major threats in Hunter Zeman and Cory Murray, followed by a late Trezevant thrust in the fourth. As I looked on the field during the trophy ceremonies, Marion County was about in as bad a shape as we’ve seen emotionally. The feeling in the air was not that the Bears earned a win–which I feel could be argued–but that the Bears were simply lucky Hunter Zeman had been hurt. You never want to blame a loss on one incident, but if there were ever a moment like that, this could be a nominee.