Tanner denied the Section football team’s bid for its first 3-0 start since 2006.

The host Rattlers edged visiting Section 20-14 in the Class 2A Region 7 opener for both teams on Friday.

Tanner avenged a 34-21 loss to the Lions from a season ago and now lead the all-time series between the programs at 2-1.

Section (2-1, 0-1) battled injury issues throughout the game, and head coach Chris Hammon said Tanner’s size on the line of scrimmage was a big factor in the outcome.

After a scoreless first half, Section grabbed a 6-0 lead on a Drake McCutchen touchdown run. After Tanner (1-2, 1-0) took a 7-6 lead, Section went back in front on another McCutchen touchdown.

But the Rattlers scored twice more, including getting the winning score in the fourth quarter to claim the win. Trey Crutcher ran for two touchdowns for Tanner while Karl Parham added one.

“Their size really hurt us, especially in the first half, Hammon said. “We made some adjustments and came right out and scored on our first two drives. (Tanner) just made some big plays, broke one on us on a fourth-and-15 for a score.”

Section hosts county rival North Sand Mountain (0-2, 0-1), which lost to Ider 13-7 on Friday, next week for its home opener.

“It’s a real big game,” Hammon said. “We’ve got to put this one past us.”

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