published Monday, September 30th, 2013

13 for '13: Blake Zeman plays with heart for Marion County

13 for '13 Week 5

* Jim Cardwell, Boyd-Buchanan: 190 yards of offense (137 passing).

* Blake Cates, Sequatchie County: 120 rushing yards, 33-yard fumble return, 2 TDs.

* Jajuan Lankford, South Pittsburg: 206 rushing yards, 3 TDs.

* Trey Lewis, Scottsboro: 85 yards rushing, 4 TDs passing.

* Hinton McKinley, North Murray: 2 TD passes, 215 passing yards, 81 rushing yards.

* Haasan Miller, Tyner: Haasan Miller 2 TDs, 123 rushing yards, 107 passing yards.

* Zach Miller, Polk County: 169 rushing yards, 4 TDs.

* Skyler Rogers, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe: 2 TDs, 127 rushing yards.

* Kyle Sholl, Ringgold: 2 TDs, 91 receiving yards, 86 rushing yards.

* Bradley Smith, Bledsoe County: 146 rushing yards, 4 TDs.

* Brett Standifer, Bradley Central: 2 TD passes, 2 rushing TDs (8 carries).

* Jacob Webb, Northwest Whitfield: 2 TDs, 124 rushing yards.

* Blake Zeman, Marion County: 4 TDs, 19 carries, 311 yards.

Blake Zeman was awarded Player of the Game honors in WRCB-TV's game of the week.

The burly fullback, centerpiece of Marion County's offensive attack, took the trophy and sought out Mrs. Mark Griffith, wife of Marion County's superintendent of schools, and gave her the trophy.

It was another way for the junior to remember 16-year-old Kennedy Griffith, the Griffith's daughter that died last year after a battle with cancer.

"It was heartfelt," Marion County football coach Mac McCurry said Sunday afternoon. "They were pretty good buddies."

Zeman has been selected Best of Preps Player of the Week for an outstanding performance in the Warriors' 52-28 victory over Sequatchie County. He rushed for 311 yards and four touchdowns.

"I've had five Mr. Football winners and six Mr. Football finalists, and he's comparable to any of those," McCurry said. "I had Brandon Wells at Moore County, and he rushed for nearly 8,000 career rushing yards. In some ways Blake is better than Brandon."

His tribute Friday wasn't Zeman's first to Kennedy. He had worn No. 20 most of his career but he knew last year when she appeared on the field that she would be wearing jersey No. 1. He asked to wear the same number that night and then went back to no. 20 the following week. This season he returned to No. 1.

"I was a little concerned that other people would see this as Blake being egotistical but he doesn't have an ego. He's a very caring and unselfish kid."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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