Six turnovers doomed any chance Trousdale County had Friday night in a 32-14 loss to Marion County in the second round of the playoffs.
The Warriors (7-5) set the stage early as Mr. Football semifinalist Jacob Saylors scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 46-yard scamper down the visitors’ sideline for an early 7-0 lead. Saylors would finish with 235 yards on 22 carries for the Warriors.
The Yellow Jackets (8-4) fumbled the ball away on their first offensive play, giving Marion County great field position. While a field goal attempt was blocked, the momentum was clearly on Marion County’s side.
“We made too many mistakes to beat a good team like that. Take your hats off to them,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner.
“When it comes to the second round of the playoffs, it comes down to turnovers, penalties, things like that,” said Marion coach Joey Mathis. “It’s usually the difference in two equally matched teams.”
The Warriors would extend the lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter when Kane Hale stretched across the goal line after hauling in a 19-yard pass from Isiah Sampson.
Trousdale County got on the board early in the second quarter when Tarvaris Claiborne collected a 4-yard pass from Keyvont Baines on fourth down to cut the lead to 14-7. Isiah Harper appeared poised to put the Yellow Jackets in position to tie the game with a long run down the sideline on the team’s next possession, but a trailing Marion defender punched the ball loose and the Warriors recovered the fumble.
The Warriors would convert that into another touchdown to take a 20-7 lead into the locker room.
“We put ourselves in a big hole and we can’t do things like that,” Waggoner said. “(Isiah) was trying to make a great play and probably should have trusted his speed, but the guy did a great job of getting down there and swinging the game.”
Trousdale County got the ball to start the second half but another turnover set the Warriors up again with good field position. A quick touchdown made it 26-7 and put the Yellow Jackets into a hole they could not crawl back from.
Baines led Trousdale County with 136 rushing yards on 13 carries and also threw for 112 yards and a score. Baines also threw three interceptions.
Marion County will travel to Chattanooga Tyner next Friday in the 2A quarterfinals. The two teams met earlier this season, with Tyner claiming a 37-28 win.
“Hats off to Trousdale County,” Mathis said. “Coach Waggoner’s got a tremendous team. We know what it means to come here and get a win over a respected program like Trousdale.”
Trousdale County, which won Region 4-2A this year, will return the bulk of its lineup in 2018.
“We’ve got to learn to finish,” Waggoner said. “We have a large number of kids coming back next year. I want them to learn from this game tonight.
“In order to get where we want to, we’re going to have to beat those guys next year.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.