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Hook, Line and Lateral

Junior high Rebels stun Alcoa with famed trick play

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Maryville's T.D. Blackman makes the stick on Alcoa's Chris Badgett. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

They’re Rebels now, just like the high school, and every bit as tricky.

When Maryville Middle became Maryville Junior High this year, the school dropped the nickname Bulldogs for its sports teams and went all in on Rebels.

Fittingly, Evan Porter, Jack Bristol and Cameron Goss reprised one the great plays the high school has ever run in stunning rival Alcoa Middle, 14-8, in a battle of unbeatens Thursday night at Shields Stadium.

With three minutes to play in the half, Maryville holding a 7-0 lead, Porter took the snap from center and fired quickly over the right side to Bristol. As the Tornadoes converged, Bristol calmly flipped a lateral to Goss, speeding by.

The 37-yard strike on third-and-14 gave the Rebels a two-touchdown lead that withstood an Alcoa rally.

Cameron Goss scoots down the Alcoa sideline to score.

Goss accounted for the other Rebel score on a 62-yard sprint off left tackle on the game’s opening possession. Lineman Cole Burchfield delivered the key block to spring his teammate down the sideline.

The win lifts the Rebels (5-0) alongside Carpenters into first place in the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference standings. The defending champion Tornadoes (4-1) now await a meeting between the once-beaten Cougars and Maryville later this season to determine their postseason fate.

Maryville coach Jay Malone said inspiration for the hook-and-lateral play came from watching the high school run it to equal effect a few years back.

“(Maryville High) coach (George) Quarles used to run a similar play to Aaron Douglas, but more to the inside,” Malone said. “We adapted it and ran it a little more to the outside.”

The Brent Burnette/Aaron Douglas/Thomas Shuler shocker lifted the high school Rebels to a 20-19 win over William Blount in front of 14,000 fans and a television audience in 2007 at Mike White Field.

With Porter and Bristol having made the hook up earlier in the game Thursday, Malone said he felt the time was right.

“We’ve run it in practice, but you never really hope you have to use it,” Malone said. “I thought it could work because they’d seen us run that screen (to Bristol) already.”

Chris Badgett scampers to the outside as Goss gives chase.

Down 14-0, Alcoa got back in it with seconds to play in the half.

Austin Endsley marched the Tornadoes 65 yards in 10 plays to score, the big play on the drive a 43-yard toss from Endsley to Isaiah Hill on second down to move the Tornadoes to the Maryville 19.

Running back Chris Badgett slipped through the Rebel defense from the 1 five plays later to trim the deficit to seven after Badgett added a two-point conversion run.

The Badgett score and conversion were largely all the Tornado ground game could muster against the Rebels. Endsley, at quarterback, looked repeatedly ready take advantage, delivering on target on several long tosses.

Rebel quarterback Evan Porter is brought down after a big gain.

Several long throws were simply dropped.

“You’ve got to make the catches,” Alcoa Middle coach Mike McClurg said. “We didn’t execute a lot of our base stuff early on. They (the Rebels) defended it well. We’ve got to take the game and put it in our hands, and we didn’t.”

A Brock Sloan punt pinned Alcoa deep at its 26-yard line with 25 seconds left. Badgett took a short toss from Endsley 34 yards up the sideline to the Maryville 45, a saving tackle from Porter allowing the clock to expire.










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