Blount Press Row

Muzzled!

Rebels limit Bearden to field goal in district showdown

By Tate Russell
Assistant Editor
Blount Press Row

Shawn Prevo leaves a shoe behind as he runs for Rebel touchdown on Friday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

Knoxville – Top-ranked Maryville’s defense stepped up time and time again when it mattered most to lead the Rebels to a 21-3 victory over previously undefeated Bearden Friday night.

“Our kids hung in there pretty well and handled the adversity,” Maryville coach George Quarles said. “We needed a game like this where it wasn’t easy and we had to struggle through a little bit.”

Twice in the first half on third-and-short with their backs against the wall, the Rebel defense held strong and forced field goal attempts. In the second half, Maryville (6-0, 3-0 District 4AAA) stopped three Bearden drives in their tracks on fourth.

“We haven’t given up single digits too often and to be able to do that against these guys, especially with that mobile quarterback, was a great effort,” Rebel safety Brian Coulter said.

The Bearden offense rolled early after recovering a Shawn Prevo fumble at its 46-yard line. The Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1) marched the ball down to the 8 before facing a third-and-1.

Nimble-footed Bearden quarterback Nicky Frizen tried to pick up the yard himself bouncing off of right guard, but defensive end Shawn Brown stood him up and Coulter flew in from his safety spot to knock him back and force a field goal attempt.

Graham Rooke connected from 25 yards to give the Bulldogs an early 3-0 lead.

Linebacker Will Murrin spills a Bearden ball carrier.

That was all the points the Bearden offense, which had been averaging 38 points per game, was able to muster.

“It was great effort by the defense. To give up only three points to these guys was a heck of an effort,” Quarles said.

The Rebels were again backed up on their second defensive series, but, on third down, Frizen hit Ethan Pollack underneath and Coulter swooped in and stopped the receiver short of the line to gain.

Rooke missed a 37-yard field goal attempt on the next play.

The Rebels offense found the end zone for the first time with just over a minute left in the first half. Trenton Shuler set up the score with a 41-yard rush. Prevo rushed for 12 yards and moved them into the red zone.

Two plays later Shuler finished the drive, taking a jet sweep from a bunched trips formation and maneuvering his way around the corner and into the end zone.

Trenton Shuler takes the give from Nick Myers.

Shuler led the rebels with 91 yards on the ground and backfield mate Prevo tacked on another 82 with each runner earning a score.

Bearden opened the second half with a 15-play drive the took seven and a half minutes off of the clock, making its way to the Maryville 23-yard line before stalling. Frizen tried to pick up the 2 yards the Bulldogs needed on fourth down by running the ball, but the Rebels swarmed and stopped him inches short.

The Rebels responded with a nine-play drive of their own. Maryville marched downfield on seven rushes, but on the eighth play defensive lineman Gage Webb shot through and dropped Prevo as he received a Nick Myers handoff.

T.J. Kimble turns upfield after the catch.

Quarles took advantage of the aggressive defensive front on the next play.

Cody Carroll went in motion right from his flanker spot, drawing the Bulldog line backing corps.  Myers rolled right toward Carroll, then pirouetted left and lobbed the ball to tight end Logan Winders, sitting comfortably behind a pair of blockers that powered him into the end zone.

Maryville’s final score came on fourth-and-inches from the 25-yard line. Myers first tried to draw the Bulldogs offside. When it failed Prevo went up the middle, touched only by a diving attempt by Trent Waters that stripped the runner of his cleat.

Prevo managed the remaining distance to the end zone just fine without the boot, pushing the score to 21-3.

The Bulldogs got a chance to draw the margin closer, but one last time the Rebel defense stepped up. On third-and-5, Brown dropped Frizen for a 2-yard loss, forcing the Bulldogs to try and convert on fourth down again.  Frizen took off around right end and sprinted toward the chains but came up just shy.

 

 

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