SHANE SHOEMAKER – Sports Writer
The Marion County Warriors not only continued to add to their miles traveled this season last Friday night, but they also added to their win column.
The Warriors (9-0, 3-0) had to make the nearly 150-mile trek – their second extended road game in as many weeks, excluding the bye week – all the way to Woodbury, TN this time to face the Cannon County Lions (2-8, 0-4). It was the Warriors’ third opponent in the newly revised Region 4 2A this year. But lengthy travel or not, the purple team looked pretty comfortable against these new foes, winning 42-7.
The Lions looked rattled just seconds into the game after muffing the kickoff that senior Jayden Eakin recovered at the Cannon County 21-yard line. On the very next play, a handoff to EJ Wilson put the Warriors on the board first, after a Leo Polovin kick made it 7-0. The Warriors would find the end zone one more time in the first quarter on a 14-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Tilton Pickett. However, they would continue to find it more and more throughout the night, scoring in every quarter.
The second quarter was the only one where the Lions could match the Warriors’ scoring habits, when they were able to convert a 4th-and-14 after quarterback Eli Garrett completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tucker Kyne.
Before the Lions could score the only touchdown on the night, the Warriors were already up 21-0, after Brody Leonard scored one of his two touchdowns before the break and his final one after the break in the third quarter. He finished with 46 yards on 11 carries, which resulted in five of the Warriors’ 15 first downs.
Before the Warriors would hand it over to their underclassmen, junior Taylor Scharber would find the end zone. He’d also have an interception from the defensive side on the night as well.
The final Warriors’ score of the night belonged to freshman Ashton Richards, to whom senior Javon Brown handed the ball for a 44-yard touchdown run. The Warriors are now one win away from a perfect regular season of 10-0 with one more region opponent waiting at home this Friday night against the Cascade Champions (5-4, 2-1).
The Warriors have already secured a first-round home playoff game since they can finish no lower than 2nd in the region. However, to win the region, they’ll need a win over Cascade. They could still win the region even if they lose to Cascade, provided Fayetteville beats Forrest. For Cascade to take the region away from Marion County, they’d have to beat the Warriors, and Forrest would have to then beat Fayetteville.
~photos courtesy of Gene Fuller & Marilyn Quarles