The mercy rule of a running clock applies only to the second half in high school football.

The Hixson coaching staff began discussing the subject with more than six minutes to go in the first half of the Wildcats' 56-0 loss at Tyner on Friday night.

The Rams humiliated the Wildcats' defense, and their defense humbled Hixson's offensive attack through the entire first half and into the second half with a running clock.

"The difference is that we had six turnovers in our first two games and we didn't tonight until the game was in hand," Tyner coach Wayne Turner said. "We'd been our own worst enemy. Hopefully we learned from those mistakes."

Tyner (1-2) let Hixson make all the critical mistakes this time.

The Wildcats (0-3) had a fumble, an interception returned for a touchdown and two botched punt snaps for a combined minus-42 yards in the first 24 mintues.

Their 37 snaps resulted in zero yards of offense. And Hixson's missed tackles were too numerous to count, helping the Rams rush for 217 yards in before the break.

At halftime, Tyner had 42 points on only 39 plays from scrimmage. The Rams scored touchdowns on five of their first six possessions.

"We didn't let the bleeding start," Turner said. "So we didn't have to worry about how to stop it."

Quarterback Travis Jones had three of those scores. He rushed in from 6 yards out less than four minutes into the game. He scored from a yard out early in the second quarter and connected on a 12-yard pass to Sean Neal midway through the second quarter.

Tyner's Dameian Suttles had a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, Chandler Patrick scored from 12 yards, and Neal had a 61-yard interception return that led to a 42-0 halftime lead.

"We knew it was a big game and we had to get a win," Jones said. "We wanted our first win and we were able to get it."

Ahead 42-0 in the third quarter, Suttles scored again in the third quarter and freshman Hassan Miller had a fourth-quarter touchdown to complete the carnage.

"We played 48 minutes of good football for the first time," Jones said. "Our defense didn't give many yards, and even our second string helped pitch a shutout."