It hasn’t been easy for the Marion Scarlett Hurricane against the Richlands Blue Tornado. In a series that dates back to 1930, Richlands holds a decisive edge in the series.
How decisive? Richlands is 41-17-1 all time against its Smyth County neighbors. That’s good for a .703 winning percentage.
Marion has won only twice in the last 22 meetings (2001 & 2017), and haven’t won at Ernie Hicks Stadium since a 17-3 victory on Nov. 2, 1978.
For all of those statistics, Marion is the reigning winner in the Battle of the Storms.
It used a late touchdown pass to send the home fans into a frenzy. Although that game seems like it was lightyears ago.
Since that meeting, the two squads have went their separate ways. Richlands (3-3) comes into the game looking to stay unbeaten in the Southwest District and continue a top four playoff seed push.
Marion (3-3) comes in having won an exciting contest against a game Blue Devils squad, one that erased a 30-point second half lead to nearly upset the Canes.
Richlands will look once again to breakout runner Trey Brown to run through a defense that has been susceptible to giving up long runs.
For Marion, the key to a victory lies on the arm of quarterback Tanner Tate. He was 12-of-17 for 197 yards and three touchdowns last week in the thriller against Gate City. Nick Reese also had 97 yards last week, and will look to provide support to Tate.
Richlands, playing on homecoming, will feature a surprise in the uniform department when they take E-Mats Field at Ernie Hicks Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
There’s just something about growing up in this area that lends itself to sports. Friday nights are the undisputed king. We all head to the local high school to catch a glimpse of those boys of fall.
That was no different in Richlands where I grew up with a love and a passion for those Blue Tornado. Unlike my co-host, I never strapped that lightning R on my head. I took the band route instead. But that didn’t stop me from becoming most school spirited my senior year, a title I still proudly wear today.
Leaving to get my degree at Virginia Tech actually helped solidify all that I love about this area. Sure, football is a big deal in the NRV as well, but it’s just not the same. And that’s okay. Our area is special.
I’m happy to be back in SWVA this fall and I’m ready to bring you a plethora of content options as we embark on this thing called life. RIP Prince.
Oh, and Hunt Bros. Pizza is the best pizza.