After last week’s loss to Knoxville Catholic, the Eagles are back at home again tonight to host the Marion County Warriors for Homecoming 2018.
The Warriors enter the match up with a record of 3-3 on the season and are coming off a 47-22 win over Tellico Plains last week, while the Eagles also sit at 3-3 on the season.
Last season, the Eagles and the Warriors met in Jasper with the visitors coming away with a big 34-10 win on a big night for the Eagle ground game.
In the game last season, the two teams ran similar offenses. Marion County ran the Wing-T, a style Eagle fans are more than familiar with, and Rhea County ran the “Power” T-formation offense, which is a variant of the Wing-T style.
This season, each team has changed up offenses. One has made a minor change while the other has moved to an entirely different concept.
The Eagles, as many have seen this season, are running a Georgia Tech style dubbed the Triple-Eagle-Option attack that relies on quick movement, misdirection, and solid running to get rolling. It is quite similar to the Wing-T, but places more of the running responsibility on the quarterback with the running backs serving mainly as blockers or pitch options.
Eagles’ QB Zack Pemberton is having a break-out season and is on track to break Rhea County’s season TD record. Pemberton has rushed for 716 yards (622 net) with 13 touchdowns and passed for six to leave him only three short of Alonzo Banks’ record of 22 set over 41 years ago.
The Warriors have totally abandoned the “ground and pound” style of the Wing-T and traded it in for the wide-open spread run mainly from the shotgun.
The change, in part, is due to the talent and capability of starting senior quarterback Isaiah Sampson (#2, 6’2, 185). Sampson has a good arm and is a capable runner out of the backfield, making him a dual-threat option as a signal caller.
He will be facing a tough Eagle run defense that has shown multiple flashes of promise throughout the season in stopping the run, led by senior linebacker Chandler Kaylor (#42, 6’2, 220) and junior Bradley Goodwin (#40, 5’10, 200).
I think the Eagles will have no issues in this game as long as they limit turnovers and play at the same level they have shown they can multiple times this season.
Be sure to come out and support our Eagles as they take on Marion County and celebrate Rhea County’s 2018 Homecoming Festivities!!
Brian’s Pick: Rhea County 42, Marion County 10