HONAKER, Va. (WJHL) – There’s nothing quite like opening your season with a rivalry victory. That’s exactly what Honaker did last Thursday night – topping Lebanon, after losing to the Pioneers a season ago.

“Left a bad taste in our mouth all year long – especially for playoff seeding,” Honaker head coach Todd Tiller said.

“We didn’t think we should have lost last year, but we did,” junior quarterback Peyton Musick said. “We overcame it – we really loved it this time. We really put it on them.”

The Tigers pounced early and never looked back, earning a 52-7 Coal Bowl win.

“The kids came out and executed the gameplan,” Tiller said. “It was fun as a coach watching it happen live.”

The conductor of the blowout was quarterback Peyton Musick.

“We had a really good practice this week,” he said. We all know each other on personal levels … we just all mesh really good.”

The junior only needed one half of football to completed 14-of-20 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns – and the effort came as a surprise to no one.

“He does this quite often for us – we knew it was in him,” Tiller said.

Musick came out firing in the season opener without much warm-up. A broken bone in his non-throwing wrist kept him hampered for much of the preseason.

“It took a little bit over eight weeks – it was a long healing process,” he explained. “But, we overcame it and became better now.”

Musick’s talent, despite working back from that injury, is undeniable. But, Tiller believes what sets the young man apart is his selfless leadership.

“He will tell you it wasn’t because of him, but because of the cast he had,” Tiller said.

“This offense can take us all the way, if we want it to,” Musick explained. “We’ve got really good receivers – Parker, Aidan, Avery and Malachi.”

“My offensive line is very stout and very strong … and I got a good running back too.”

Honaker continues its 2023 season against Castlewood on Friday night.