Marion County High drops in playoffs

Marion County Red Raider Joe Aldridge attempts a quarterback keeper with a squad of Tornadoes on the way. Shown on the far left is Gavin Williams (#65) and Cade Atkins (#4) on the far right.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
REFORM — The Marion County Red Raiders’ season came to an end in the third round of the state playoffs with a 40-14 loss to the Pickens County Tornadoes on Friday night, Nov. 18.
The Raiders received the opening kickoff and made a good return, but a pass on first down was intercepted. The Tornadoes started to pick up yards, and with 8:32 left in the first quarter, a Pickens County receiver caught a contested pass to score. The kick was low but good, and the Tornadoes led 7-0.
The Raiders got the ball back, but their drive ended in a punt. The Tornadoes once again took control of the game and scored again with another pass to go ahead 14-0 with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
The Raiders’ next drive ended in a punt once again, but 1:51 left in the first quarter, Marion County’s Dalyce Floyd jumped up and intercepted a pass and ran it all the way down the field for a touchdown. The kick was good, and the Pick Six put the Raiders on the scoreboard, but still trailing 14-7.
The Tornadoes got the ball back and still had it when the second quarter began. A few minutes in, the Tornadoes made it into the end zone, but a holding penalty walked it back. They ran again on the next play and scored. The kick was blocked, but the Tornadoes increased their lead to 20-7.
They scored again on a pass with 3:52 left in the half to go up 26-7 after the Raiders stopped the two-point attempt.
The Raiders made another attempt, and it looked like it would end in another Raider touchdown. A long pass to Dee Lipsey put the Raiders in great position. The Raiders ended up on the 9 yard line.
Joe Aldridge threw the pass, but it was intercepted in the end zone by the Tornadoes with 3:23 left in the half.
The Raiders got the ball back just as the half was ending. Cade Atkins tried to run but was stopped as the clock hit zero.
The Raiders kicked off to open the second half, and their defense held the line. The Raiders took over on downs with 9:30 left in the third quarter.
The game entered a stalemate for a few minutes as neither team scored. The Tornadoes had the ball with 3:40 left in the third quarter, when the Raiders intercepted a pass.
The Raiders started picking up yards, especially on a long pass to Lipsey, but with just under two minutes left in the quarter, the Raiders sent out the punt team. It was a fake, and Zach Lamoureux caught a pass to score another Raider touchdown.
With 1:45 left in the third quarter, the Raiders were trailing 26-14.
With just over 20 seconds left, the Tornadoes’ next drive was halted with an interception by Marion County’s Brooks Junkin.
It would be the Raiders’ final touchdown of the night, though the Tornadoes weren’t done. They scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to end the game with a 40-14 victory over the Red Raiders.
The Raiders end the season with a record of 9-4.
Zach Lamereaux ended the season ranked 15th in the nation for interceptions with a total of 10. He is number one in 1A and number two in the state.
Brooks Junkin ended up number three in 1A for tackles with a total of 116. Gavin Cole is fifth in 1A for sacks with a total of seven.

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