Blount Press Row

Look Who’s 40

Rebels extend win streak with first-round rout of Hawks

Tony Gugliotta rushes the Hardin Valley defense during top-ranked Maryville’s opening round playoff win on Friday at Shields Stadium. Photos by Brandon Shinn

By Tate Russell
Assistant Editor
Blount Press Row

An explosive offensive outing allowed Maryville to make quick work of Hardin Valley.

Dylan Jackson puts the heat on a Hardin Valley ball carrier.

The Rebels tallied 341 yards of offense in the first half and scored on plays of 45, 45, 58 and 51 yards on its way to a 42-10 victory in the first round of the TSSAA class 6A playoffs Friday night at Shields Stadium.

Maryville (11-0) extends its win streak to 40 games with the short night and will host Oak Ridge (10-1) in next week’s second round. The Wildcats stopped Science Hill, 35-28, on Friday.

“I thought we had a chance to make some plays offensively tonight,” Maryville coach George Quarles said. “Right now the strength of our team is probably the big play. We’re playing really well on the perimeter and our quarterback is playing well.”

Rebel senior Nick Myers led Maryville with 165 yards passing with three touchdowns and added another 30 yards on the ground before being pulled midway through the second quarter.

“Nick had tough start,” Quarles said. “He came out, lobbed a few of them, but he settled down and threw some good real passes after that.”

Cody Carroll got things started when took in a Myers toss on bubble screen and cut inside. Seeing nothing on the interior, he changed directions and picked up a key block from Trenton Shuler to sprint 45 yards for a 7-0 Maryville lead just over one minute into the game.

The Rebels blew out the Hawks with a withering first half.

After a quick Hawks series, Shuler extended the lead with another 45-yard score. The Rebel halfback took a toss sweep left and, behind a block from Shawn Prevo at the corner, raced by the entire Hardin Valley defense untouched on his way to the end zone.

Shuler finished with 116 total yards of and two scores on five touches.

Carroll pulled in another Myers pass for his second score and once again used some fancy footwork to find the end zone. The junior receiver went uncovered on a seam route and scurried up field, shaking one defender at the 25-yard line and slipping two others inside the 10 to maneuver his way across the goal line.

The Rebels defense made its mark on the scoreboard on the ensuing Hawks drive when safety Marcus Brooks intercepted a Nathan White toss. Brooks traversed the visitor’s sideline and behind a handful of blockers made his way into the end zone from 35 yards out.

Maryville held Hardin Valley to 125 first half yards and did not allow a first down until Hardin Valley’s sixth offensive possession.

Tyler Vaught directs his blockers.

Nick Myers set up the Rebels’ next score with a rush of 9 yards and passes of 12 and 21 yards. He found tight end Logan Winders open in the middle of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown strike.  Myers exited the game after the score just two minutes in the second quarter, handing the signal calling duties to Tyler Vaught, then Chase White.

The Hawks picked up yards on their last two drives of the first half first, marching 58 yards before settling for a 32-yard Soloman Mader field goal.

Their next drive moved to the 23, where Mader attempted a second field goal. Austin Parrish mishandled the snap and Chancellor Coates stuffed him in the backfield before any damage could be done.

All-State safety Brian Coulter was sidelined in the contest with an ankle injury suffered last week against Lenoir City. Coulter’s play-stuffing ability was noticeably absent. The Rebels expect the senior defensive leader to be ready next week.

It will be the second meeting for the Rebels and Wildcats this season. Maryville controlled the first meeting throughout and won, 38-23.

Grant Robinson punts the Rebels out of trouble on Friday.

“I don’t enjoy playing these teams twice,” Quarles said. “We’ve had to do it a number of times. We don’t have a choice. You can just forget the last game and you have to go out and win this one.”

With less than one minute left before halftime the Rebels struck again. Vaught avoided an aggressive rush and lobbed a screen pass to Shuler, who wove through Hardin Valley secondary on his way to 51-yard touchdown and a 42-3 halftime lead.

Morgan Knight earned the lone score of the second half when he darted up the middle for a 69-yard score with 2:17 left in the game. Knight gained 168 yards on 19 carries

 

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