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Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Tyner's Jeremiah Batiste stiff-arms a defender to the ground during the Rams' home win against Central on Friday night.
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Tyner vs. Central

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As Tyner junior running back Jeremiah Sawyer exploded on a jet sweep and weaved his way through three defenders for a 72-yard score, all he could see and think about was one thing.

With a great purpose and a heavy heart, Sawyer rumbled for 170 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries to highlight the Rams' season-opening 67-10 pummeling of Central at home Friday night. Class 2A's fourth-ranked Rams totaled 616 yards of offense.

"I saw my brother every time I touched the ball," Sawyer said. "I lost my big brother (Malik Brewer) a couple of months ago. It's been a really emotional time. My dedication is to him. That's what wakes me up in the morning and makes me work harder."

Led by senior captain Martavius Ryals under center, who accounted for four scores along with 168 yards passing and 77 rushing, Tyner's multiple-based offense was too much to stop.

Miami (Ohio) commitment Jeremiah Batiste went for a 46-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass in double coverage soon after teammate Kamden Edwards spun off tacklers for a highlight-reel touchdown on a screen pass.

At halftime the Rams led 48-7 with a whopping 475 yards of offense. They had 327 rushing yards at the break on 20 carries.

"If we keep coming along on the offensive and defensive line like we are right now and keep building on the positives, we will be hard to contain," longtime Tyner coach Wayne Turner said. "I think tonight sent a good message across the state to let people know what kind of power we have over here."

Senior Deviante Felder along with juniors Jailin Worthy and Keshawn Brown made for a formidable front on both sides of the ball for the Rams, who let up only one offensive score to Central (0-2) on a 64-yard touchdown run up the middle by senior speedster Hunter Jones, who went over the century mark.

Melique Hambrick intercepted two passes in the victory in which Sawyer helped set the tone for a season with enormous potential.

"Jeremiah was in the weightroom all offseason with a purpose pushing himself and his teammates," Turner said. "Ever since his brother passed away, he has been on a mission. He runs with authority and has been a tremendous boost for us. When he gets it, he's going to do damage."

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

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