After starting 1-0 last season, the Marion County Warriors lost their next three games that included two shutouts.
Those games were against Sequatchie County, Dade County and Tyner, with the game against the Tyner Rams being one of those shutouts, losing 41-0.
Last year, the Warriors and Rams were on completely different paths post their meeting.
The Warriors would go on to lose two more games, finishing 5-5 for the year and miss the playoffs entirely. Meanwhile, the Rams would lose to only a Class 3A Alcoa team and finish with a TSSAA Class 2A State Championship.
On Friday night, the Warriors didn’t face the same Rams team that beat them 41-0 last year. But more importantly, the Rams didn’t face the same Warriors team that lost to them 41-0 last year either.
The Warriors, now past the youthful inexperience of a season ago, had already proven they were a different team from last year when they avenged two of their losses earlier in the year against Dade County (10-6) and Sequatchie County (45-0). Now all that was left was Tyner, who they beat 28-6 to stay perfect on Friday night.
Even on a night that began with a fumble on their opening drive, the Warriors and their relentless running attack from the likes of EJ Wilson are what made the difference.
Wilson racked up 111 of the Warriors 277 rushing yards in only three carries, while accounting for 12 of the Warriors 28 points, scoring once on a 39-yard run in the second quarter, and then again on a 72-yard run in the third.
Wilson’s two scores were combined with a 2-yard Taylor Scharber touchdown in the first quarter and an Ashton Martin 5-yard touchdown run in the third.
Holding the Rams to only six points, the Warriors continued their dominating defensive performance, now only having allowed a combined 65 points all season.
The Warriors defense accounted for one sack and one Rams’ fumble lost, while also allowing only two third down conversions and 227 yards of total offense to their former region foe.
The Warriors, now 7-0, are off to their best start in two years, where they will now finish their regular season against three straight region opponents, with the next two on the road, starting with the Forrest Rockets (4-3, 1-1) in Chapel Hill.