Marion County High School took a sizable commute to Loudon High School, just south of
Knoxville, last Friday and came away with a win. With a determination that was powerful and palatable, the Warriors took care of business on both sides of the ball with a couple of mental mistakes, but nothing insurmountable. The game started out looking like there wasn’t going to be a lot of scoring as the first blood on the scoreboard wasn’t spilled until less than five minutes remained in the the first quarter as Jacob Saylors would find the end zone and help lift the Warriors to a 7-0 lead.
The momentum looked to be going decidedly the Warriors’ way when they were able to stop Loudon on the ensuing kickoff at their own 10 yard line. Loudon would issue a wake up call in the drive breaking out for a fifty yard gain and two minutes after Marion got a touchdown, Loudon did the same. It seemed led the offenses were off to the races after that as the first quarter expired with a 14-13 Loudon lead. By halftime, Loudon held a 21-19 lead with a flurry of penalties called against the Warriors. Upon the Loudon team getting called their first penalty late in the second quarter, the Loudon coach violently argued with the referee. No additional penalties were called despite the regulations being clear on sideline protocol.
Marion County emerged from the halftime break with a renewed focus. The Warriors
defense seemed to get stronger throughout the second half while Loudon succumbed to attrition. The Warrior defensive line would stand Loudon at a first and goal and force a field goal and hold two fourth and short to give the offense the ball. Both times the Warriors were able to capitalize on the turnovers. The frustration of the Loudon team started to show as the penalties accumulated for false starts and holding throughout the third and fourth quarter. The player(s) of the game however were definitively the defensive line as they played with a grit rarely seen. A hearty and well deserved congratulations to the Warriors who have pulled the self up to a record of 4-5 overall and a 2-1 regional record. The record becomes very important as Marion County looks to host fellow region member Polk County, who will be bringing a 4-5 overall and a 2-1 regional record. The teams will be fighting for the number two ranking in the Division I, Double A, Region 3 rankings for the post season. Tyner Academy is out of reach for both teams with a 4-0 regional record, they are assured of the first round bye in the post season.