It didn't take long for Ethel to score its first touchdown of the season Friday.
Cyrus Rone took the opening kickoff on one bounce at the 17. Eighty-three yards and 13 seconds later, he was in the East Rankin Academy end zone.
“I saw the ball coming my way. I saw the hop, grabbed it and saw the middle of the field wide open,” he said.
That was the start of a 43-0 victory in the Tigers' belated first game of the season. It was as one-sided as the score would indicate. Unofficially, Ethel outgained East Rankin 331-66.
“We had a great first game,” said Coach Adam Smith. “We had a couple of fumbles, but for the most part we were solid.”
It was pretty much the Cyrus Rone show. He added TD runs of 52 and 77 yards, the second one on the final play of the first half, and he had three tackles for losses.
“It's field vision,” he said. “You try to find your way to the (end) zone.”
Rone gave credit to his offensive line and Smith, the Tigers' second year coach.
“He came to Ethel and really turned our program around. It's really a joy for my senior year that we can kick some tail,” said Rone.
The offense got off to a slow start. The first two possessions resulted in a lost fumble and a three-and-out. After that, the Tigers' Notre Dame Box was clicking on all cylinders. Six possessions turned into five TDs and a lost fumble.
The Tigers attempted only one pass, 25 yards from Brent Bell to Kentrell Dotson on fourth-and-four. That put the Tigers at the East Rankin six and Anton Clark scored on the next play.
The other second half TDs came on runs of 11 yards by Dotson and one yard by Bell.
A big play on defense came on East Rankin's opening possession. Facing fourth-and-one at midfield, quarterback Reece Cordell was tackled for a three-yard loss by Rone.
East Rankin never got closer than the Ethel 34 and netted only 10 yards in the second half.
The Tigers' first three scheduled games were canceled, two because Ethel was virtual, and last week because McAdams was quarantined.
The home opener and first Region 3-1A game will be next Friday against Leake County.