Thursday, January 18, 2018
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MCHS pulls two wins from CSAS on road trip

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Erimayas Bowden challenges for the high percent shot near the goal.
Lia Price puts up her fourth quarter free throw.

The Marion County High School basketball program is celebrating a pair of wins over Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences. The December 4 matchup saw the Lady Warriors of MCHS hand the Lady Patriots a convincing defeat as they would ultimately beat the CSAS team 50-29. The men’s game would be less resolute, but a “W” all the same with a 72-67 victory that would see the score tied with just over two and a half minutes left in the game.

For the women, head coach Randy Ellis continue his fast development of young players as he overcomes significant losses due to graduation and injuries from last years’ team. Senior Ashton McGrew would post seven points in the entire first half. That compared to fellow senior Amy Webb having no points in the first half and the Lady Warriors going into halftime with a 24-11 lead, one would have to surmise the development strategy seems to be working. Savannah Phillips and Savannah Keahey both would get four in the first half while Caroline Rash would land a three pointer and freshman Sara Muir would drop six for

Jace Williamson puts in two of his seven points.

the half.

Coming out of the half, the Lady Patriots staged a defensive gauntlet against the Lady Warriors holding all but one player to zero points in the third quarter. As the player carrying the offensive weight of the team was Webb, she still managed to put in nine points for the Lady Warriors compared to thirteen posted by the Lady Patriots for the quarter. However, the Lady Warriors would regroup and get aggressive under the boards which would help get nine attempts from the foul line in the final quarter. Unfortunately, the Lady Warriors would only go four-for-nine from the charity stripe, however they enjoyed broader offensive contribution as seven players would strike on the scoreboard to complete the win. Coach Ellis would reflect after the game, “CSAS played a little harder than we anticipated and relied on the seniors down the stretch to come through…and they did. Amy Webb and Ashton McGrew really brought us home.” For her part, Amy Webb was a little more pensive about talking the credit. “It took us a minute to get in the swing of things,” Webb continued, “And it’s hard working with this group of girls because we haven’t been on the floor [together]. From last year, we lost a lot, but it’s finally starting to come together. IN the fourth quarter we really pulled it together and we got our younger girls in which is what I like to see.”

Kane Hale takes the ball straight up the middle for two of his twenty four points.

As for the men, the Warriors ended up trading flurries with the Patriots. The Warriors would come out of the first quarter up by six only to go into halftime tied at thirty-six. The Warriors would eek out a one point advantage in the third quarter. Without great surprise, senior Warrior Kane Hale would have one-third of the team’s total offense. However, a number of contributions give the Warriors reason for optimism. Reece Barton, Ermiyas Bowdin and Jace Williamson would pull, by our count thirteen offensive rebounds and six successful put-backs. The Warriors gave up the opportunity for a more convincing lead as they would go fourteen for twenty five at the foul line through the game. For the Warriors to capitalize on there stable full of guys willing to fight under the goal, they’re going to be needing to shoot in the seventy percent range for free throws versus the current just over fifty percent.

As the fourth quarter dwindled away, the Patriots found themselves needing to foul MCHS to make sure they would have another shot with the ball. Inside of three minutes, the two teams were tied sixty-three a piece. Quite literally, anyone’s game. Hale would come up with a steal from the Patriot side of the court and run the distance to dunk for the lead. This would seem to have as profound an effect on a psychological basis as it did visually. Through the need to foul, the Patriots would watch their chances of getting back into the game die.

The Warriors look to host Bledsoe County on Friday December 8 starting with the Lady Warriors at 6:00 central.

Warriors continue their state championship quest

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Jacob Saylors (#8) gains some of his 200-plus yards against Trousdale.

When the Warriors were sitting on a record of 3-5 after being declared the heir apparent in preseason polls for a shot at the state championship, many had decided it was a lost cause. Thanks to their win in the second round of the state playoffs, the Warriors of Marion County High School now sit at a 7-5 record and a ticket to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.

Sampson bursts through the line.

Warrior running back Jacob Saylors played the game like he had something to prove. He succeeded with the added benefit of carrying the dreams of the Purple Nation fans on his back. With over 230 yards on 22 carries, Saylors took on the vast majority of the ground game for the Warriors. Brett Nelson would post a respectable 80 yards running and Seth McClain and Jax Rollins would also gain positive yardage for the Tribe.

Kane Hale would followup Saylors’ initial score at the 10:03 mark in the first with a reception and an inspired run after. Hale would literally drag the defender into the end zone with him in order to post the score that helped the Warriors take a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets would come back with a touchdown of their own but failed to execute the point after thanks to an MCHS block, which left the Warrior lead 14-6. Saylors would glide in for another touchdown before the halftime break to go up 20-6.

One constant throughout the game was the Jackets

Seth McClain (#30) earns some hard fought yards up the middle against the Yellow Jackets.

dominated in a statistic you don’t want to lead in: turnovers. With six Jacket turnovers, the Warriors would’ve had to work pretty hard to have lost the game. The Warrior defense had some remarkable plays scattered throughout the game. Brett Nelson and Jacob Saylors would, in addtion to their offensive merit during the matchup, would also both take an interception from the Jacket offense. The Warriors together posted 410 total offensive compared to the Jackets’ 305 yards.

Isaiah Sampson earns rushing yardage.

Warriors quarterback, Isaiah Sampson would once again post yard of his own at 40 yards including a rushing TD. As the Warriors look forward to their quarterfinals matchup against division foe Tyner Academy (who defeated Watertown 33-22 in order to face the Warriors) The 37-28 loss the Warriors suffered at the hands of the Rams of Tyner Academy can serve as the catalyst for avenging the the loss or the albatross that forces mental mistakes by the Warriors.

The Warriors now a boast a more experienced secondary which serve them well against Tyner who has a quarterback that is prone to run. In their first matchup, the Warriors played to prevent the pass and left 6-7 yards on the table a number of times that Tyner got through the line. Today, that would be very different as the defense has had the opportunity to read the offense better and close those lanes faster.

The proof is in the pudding… or on the scoreboard.
Man on mission. Saylors looking for a hole.

South Pittsburg takes commanding win over Lookout Valley 56-0

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Sawyer Kelley proved to be consistent while he played in clocking great numbers rushing.

The South Pittsburg Pirates football program looks to wrap up their regular season with a

Ronto Tipton peeks behind him to make sure he has clear sailing to the end zone.

rare Thursday night game and is poised to finish the season in style if the first half is any indicator. Despite losing the services of one of their key players in Cade Kennemore, the Pirates appears to be hitting on all cylinders. With Brayden Sanders at quarterback, the Pirates were able to strike twice inside of the first half of the first quarter.

Senior Sawyer Kelley enjoyed celebrating his Senior Night with a long touchdown. The Yellowjackets just weren’t able to gain any traction on the night. Facing the mercy rule before the end of the first half, the Jackets were trailing 42-0 at halftime.

The Pirates took the field with purpose for their 56-0 victory to close their regular season 10-0

All that shimmers was not gold for the Pirates as they amassed 8 penalties for 95 yards by the end of the third quarter including having two touchdowns called back because of yellow flags. Even after the Pirates put in an all-freshman offensive backfield, the talent pool of the Pirates was obvious as the Jackets were unable to find a way to move the ball down the field. The Jackets were able early in the fourth to finally make a stop and force a loss of possession by the Pirates and were able to gain a couple of first downs on the possession, but the Pirates put a stop to that progress with an interception at

Curtavian Whisnant carries for the Pirates.

the 5:25 mark in the 4th quarter. The Pirates, already up 56-0, attempted to run out the clock with taking knees with the mercy rule helping them run off the clock.

 

 

Marion County Warriors get another road win in Loudon 53-38

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The Warriors bust through to take the field...and take the field they did!

Marion County High School took a sizable commute to Loudon High School, just south of

Brett Nelson comes out of the line of scrimmage with room to run.

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.

Seth McClain (#30) sprints up the middle of the field while Jacob Saylors (#8) protects from the rundown from behind.

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

Jax Rollins (#37) helps clear a path for Jacob Saylors (#8) for the gain.

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.

Charges against WHS players dropped in Marion County juvenile court

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Two football players that had already been expelled from Whitwell High School, pending their Disciplinary Hearing Committee (DHC) appeal hearing through the school district, have received some good news today as all charges were dropped in Marion County juvenile court today. The incident in question alleged that the the two struck another player in the back with a belt. Unconfirmed reports show that the DHC had already dramatically reduced the initial expulsion to the point that both were expected to play the last game of the regular season plus whatever post season the Tigers earned.

The litigation supersedes the school’s judgement and both students are expected back in school as early as tomorrow. The players will not be cleared to play in tonight’s game against Cannon County at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, but all indications are they will be eligible to play the final season game at home against Sale Creek High School.

Marion County News will continue to follow the story.

MCHS Warriors break out of losing streak with 47-28 win over Tellico Plains

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Warrior quarterback leads the pack as he opts to keep the ball and picks up a nice gain.

The Marion County High School Warriors break a three game slide with a win over regional

Warrior Brett Nelson pulls down a reception for the touchdown.

foe Tellico Plains last Friday night. The Bears were bringing an identical 2-4 overall record into the contest and were nursing a two game losing streak themselves. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Warriors sported more grit early and were able to keep the pressure on down the stretch.

The Bears won the toss and elected to receive and thanks to a 40 yard explosion one play in addition to some smaller runs, the Bears would strike first in the end zone and successfully executing the two point conversion for a 8-0 lead over the Warriors. The momentum didn’t seem to favor the Warriors as they mishandled the subsequent kickoff, but recovered the ball. With Brett Nelson grabbing an 8 yard jaunt, quarterback Isaiah Sampson would fire off a 30 yard sprint and Jacob Saylors would carry the next 30 into the end zone to close the gap to 8-7 with the successful extra point with 10 minutes left in the first quarter. The Bears would squeak out several runs on, but Warrior Alex Nunez made a number of stops preventing a big gain down the stretch. Chase Hardin would make a phenomenal breakup of a pass by Tellico to get the ball back on downs. Saylors would take the ball off scrimmage and get to the end zone only to have it called balled because of offensive holding. The next snap the Warriors would earn a false start penalty getting them  a first and twenty three hole. Brett Nelson would change the tide for the Warriors earning the first down with a run. They would continue inching up the field to have Alex Nunez punch through to the end zone . Marion County would be issued a sideline warning by the officials, but Nunez would complete the two point conversion for MCHS to take the lead 15-8 and that score would mark the start of the Warriors’ scoring bonanza as the would amass a 41-8 lead by halftime. Scoring on their first drive in the second half, Head Coach Joey Mathis started using the opportunity to put some lesser experienced players on the field. Tellico Plains would make progress against the Warriors’ second string and would ultimately make another twenty points throughout the second half but would still not be able to overcome the deficit they found themselves in allowing the Warriors to pull off the 47-28 victory.

By the numbers:

MCHS total yards: 408 (70 passing/338 rushing)

First Downs: 13

Sampson went 4/6 in the air

J. Saylors carried 5 times for 141 yards and 3 TDs; Sampson had 5 keepers for 94 yards; Brett Nelson went 4 carries for 60 yards; A Camp had 1 carry for 12 yards; J.Rollins held 3 for 9 yards; A.Jolly ran twice for 8 yards; S McClain ran twice for 3 net yards; R. Dykes carried once for 2 yards

C. Hardin caught two passes for a total of 51 receiving yards and B. Nelson had a catch for 9 yards….both were for a TD

G. Lawson grabbed an interception from Tellico Plains

 

Tigers grab record-setting 6-0 record with victory over Polk County

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Kicker Austin Nunley has been dependable for the Tigers' extra points this season.

The 2017 Whitwell High School Tigers’ football program, even if they accomplish nothing for the rest of the season, have set a record for the school’s program. This season marks

Josh Wingo continues his reputation for gaining the difficult rushing yards for the team, but has laid some monumental blocks for other runners as well.

the first time the Tigers have started the season 6-0. With the convincing victory over the Polk County Wildcats last week, the 2017 Tigers have etched their mark in the history of the program.

The Tigers once again pulled ahead early in the game and never gave up the lead. In the first quarter, spectators would see the usual suspects performing for the Tigers and Josh Wingo and Trayce Condra would be called on to march the ball up the field. Ultimately, Wingo would take a 28 yard jog for the first touchdown with 8:37 left in the first quarter. Whitwell’s unforgiving defense forced the Wildcats into a three and out possession and then to add insult to injury, Hudson Petty would take the punt right through the Polk special teams line and run into the end zone for the second touchdown with Austin Nunley remaining consistent with extra points on the year to bring the Tigers up 14-0 with 6:22 left in the first.

Trayce Condra gathered 205 of his season 648 yard rushing at the Polk game.

Polk County looked like they had gotten their sea legs about them on the next possession with a huge run down to Whitwell’s 29 yard line. But again, the stifling defense held and Whitwell would end up taking over on downs. The Tigers would also come up empty on the scoreboard and punt. Polk would break free for a huge run in the possession and were just barely caught on their way to the end zone. Before the end of the first, the Tigers would get a touchdown again but would fail to convert the two point conversion, but still leading 20-0. In the second, although Polk found the end zone, they weren’t able to execute the point after, but narrowed the gap to 20-6. Tiger Dawson Holloway would hang on to the ball for a run for a touchdown with 9:53 left in the first half to increase the lead to 27-6. Polk would piece together some rushing yardage but would finally see an end to their progress as Thundur Roberts put a hit on Polks runner on a third and five that reminded onlookers that Roberts lives up to his first name.

First year head coach Randall Boldin seems completely at home with the reins in hand, though he is always quick to point out the boys are the ones doing the hard work.

With some trading of possessions, finally Trayce Condra found a seam in the defensive line and exploited it for 79 yards and the touchdown. Coupled with another successful extra point from Nunly, the Tigers took a commanding 34-6. Polk looked like they might take the subsequent kickoff back for a score…apparently that didn’t set well with kicker Austin Nunley who offered the Polk runner the opportunity to lay down with a hit that a linebacker would be proud of.

The game would remain largely a see-saw match with punts injected, but ultimately Condra would find another gap for a run into the end zone for the 41-6 lead. As expected Condra would end up with big yardage on the night going 205 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Josh Wingo would carry 6 times for 54 yards and a touchdown while Dawson Holloway would carry twice for 37 yards and a touchdown. Hudson Petty would end up with a 77 yards punt return for a touchdown as well as receiving a touchdown pass. Austin Nunley would go perfect on extra point conversion on the night with six. Quarterback Warren Ashworth would go six for eight in the air for 108 yards and Holloway would go two for three for 22 yards passing. The Tigers would have a total of 504 yards with 376 of them coming on the ground. The Tiger defense saw a little more strength from this team allowing 192 yards, but there were several key stops that kept the Wildcats from converting those yards into substantial points.

The Tigers will have a couple of weeks to prepare to host Trousdale County on October 6.

Marion County Warriors reconcile last week with a 41-3 win over Bledsoe County

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Jacob Saylors turns on the turbo on the second play from scrimmage to give Marion their first points of the game early in the first.
Quarterback Isaiah Sampson would contribute with runs of his own including a touchdown. As Sampson puts more confidence in Marion’s passing game, thanks to yards after completion by receivers the Tribe packed about half and half with pass and rush yards.

Playing  a rare Saturday game during regular season, Marion County High School Warriors took on the Bledsoe County Warriors on neutral ground as they would borrow Boyd-Buchanan’s field because of fears earlier in the week that the remnants of Tropical Depression Harvey might damage Bledsoe’s field beyond being playable. Unfortunately for Bledsoe’s team, Marion came out with a bit of a chip on their shoulder following last week’s one point loss in overtime loss.

It seemed Marion was ready to brush the dust off early as Jacob Saylors was given the outside lane on a sweep and he ran 70 yards for the first touchdown with Hudson

James Hudson would go five for six on extra points for the contest.

adding the extra point for a 7-0 lead with just over a minute missing from the game clock. With little fanfare, the Marion defense would find Bledsoe in the backfield a number of times to keep them from making any progress. About halfway

 

through the first quarter, Saylors would again get the call for a short run for the touchdown. Saylors ran through two significant defensive efforts to make it to the end zone.

Another backfield tackle by Marion County stymied the Bledsoe efforts to get any offense going with any consistently.

Hudson would connect again to put Marion up 14-0. Marion quarterback Isaiah Sampson would find Brett Nelson on a short pass, but more importantly, Nelson would find a wide open sideline to ‘jog’ down for a 94 yard total gain for the touchdown. Hudson wouldn’t disappoint and put the finishing extra point on the Marion 21-0 first quarter lead.

Kane Hale finishes out his touchdown.

 

Bledsoe would find some of their sea-worthiness during the second quarter as they would piece together a drive that brought them inside of the 30 yard line, but the Marion defense would hold and force Bledsoe to settle for a field goal midway through the second quarter to close the gap only slightly as Marion maintained a 21-3 lead.

Sampson would punch through the line on a quarterback keeper on the one yard line late in the third to extend Marion’s lead 27-3 with Hudson’s only missed extra point of the contest. Spreading the offense around, Sampson would connect with Kane Hale for a nearly 40 yard touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter. The Marion defense would make some heroic stops throughout the final quarter. Saylors would put the final nail in the coffin for Bledsoe making a 75 year run for a final touchdown for the 41-3 final.

Tigers’ convincing triumph over Boyd Buchanan proves WHS ready to play

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Josh Wingo leaves the defense behind on a screen pass and scores for the Tigers.

Whitwell football was a bit of a wild card this year. Many of their core players had returned, but questions remained about the players buy in to yet another new head coach’s program.

Many of those doubts were alleviated for the Tiger Nation as the Tigers would make a

Tigers came prepared to play ball!

reputable showing in last week’s Jamboree against state title contender Marion County and scoring a safety against district rival South Pittsburg Pirates for the only scoring in that matchup. But, let’s face it, the Jamboree format doesn’t really give a complete picture when it comes to stamina and really “finishing a game.” Those doubts are all but erased with the Cats’ performance against Boyd Buchanan.

Hudson Petty watched the defender closely….as he went by him in their recent meeting.

The offense was a little slow to materialize the big gains with the first quarter seeing largely 3-6 yard gains. Making a respectable number of first downs inclluding a couple of third down conversions. That said, the defense kept the Bucs in check and then some. The Bucs would muster only nine first downs during the entire contest. By the second quarter, the Tigers were able to capitalize on some of those holes they were finding in the first quarter and making better matchups on blocks. Finally there was a completion from quarterback Warner Ashworth to Josh Wingo and Wingo found the sideline and went the distance to the end zone at the 7:50 mark in the second quarter. That would serve as the ‘priming of the pump’ for the Whitwell offense as they score again with 2:13 left in the first half and decided to attempt the 2 point conversion….successfully. The Tigers endured a scary moment in the twilight of the first half as Boyd pieced together what looked like a sure long gain pass only to have the receiver watch the ball slide through his hands.

Having lost the coin flip, Whitwell would get the ball first in the second half. On the first play from scrimmage they gained 70 yards on a pass play and looked poised to score again, but would have to make an unsuccessful effort at a field goal. However, the team would rebound. The Bucs started letting their frustrations get the better of them as they started getting pushy in the middle of the third, but it would be reigned in. It would take until less than three minutes left in the third, but the Tigers would score again taking a 22-0 lead. The Tiger defense would recover a fumble and the team turned around and scored again for a 29-0 lead going into the fourth.

Finally in the last two minutes, John King would scamper for the 36-0 final score.

Getting pumped for Tiger football

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With new head coach Randall Boldin at the helm, Whitwell High School Tiger Football program is braving the heat to prep for a season filled with promise.

Previously, Coach Boldin expressed his excitement with the players he had. “The guys work hard and are coachable and amazing things happen when you combine those two things.”

August 11 marks the date for the Jamboree so don’t count the Tigers out because they certainly haven’t!