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Twenty-three Skidoo!

Shuler goes beast mode on birthday as Rebels reach semifinals

Trenton Shuler skips into the end zone for one of his three touchdowns on Friday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Batman got his too, but Robin was the show.

Shawn Prevo chops through the Dobyns-Bennett defense.

Trenton Shuler stunned Dobyns-Bennett with an 86-yard touchdown run on Maryville’s first play from scrimmage, the Rebel senior finishing with 223 all-purpose yards and 14.1 yards per carry on his 18th birthday on Friday.

With backfield mate Shawn Prevo torching the Indians for 147 yards, 198 all-purpose, and 12.3 yards per rush, top-seed Maryville rolled late to a 41-20 win in a Class 6A quarterfinal at Shields Stadium.

Prevo gets much of the attention from opposing defenses, “but 23 (Shuler) is just as good,” Maryville coach George Quarles said.

The win sends the two-time defending champion Rebels (13-0) to Murfreesboro Siegel (13-0) for a long-anticipated semifinal showdown the day after Thanksgiving.

Siegel eliminated Murfreesboro neighbor Riverdale, 33-20, on Friday.

Maryville’s dynamic backfield powered the Rebels to 507 yards of offense on the night. Shuler’s emergence as a feature back of equal measure had a lot to do with it, Prevo said.

“That meant they had to watch him and me,” he said. “It’s hard to watch two people. He made his birthday our present.”

Chris Raymond comes down with a 24-yard touchdown catch.

Quarterback Nick Myers threw only eight passes, completing six of them for 150 yards. Three of the completions went for touchdowns to Shuler, Prevo and wide out Chris Raymond.

The Rebel ground game finished with 357 yards rushing on 33 carries.

Vanderbilt commitment Malik Foreman paced a Dobyns-Bennett offense that threatened on more than one occasion, the Indians quarterback finishing with 123 yards rushing and 78 passing.

Foreman was twice intercepted by Maryville defensive back John Garrett.

Devaun Swafford scored on runs of 3, 1 and 4 yards for Dobyns-Bennett, but a pair of opportunities from close range early that went wanting proved costly.

The Rebels fumbled the game’s opening kickoff at the Maryville 14, only to see the Indians fumble the ball back on the first play from scrimmage, with safety Brian Coulter recovering Maryville.

“Not the start you’d want, but our kids are resilient,” Quarles said. “We got the fumble back, and Thomas goes 80 yards.”

Shuler cut behind a Prevo block over the left side. Eighty-six yards later and a bullet-straight sprint, and the Rebels held a 7-0 lead with still 11 minutes to play in the quarter.

Rebel safety Brian Coulter brings down Dobyns-Bennett's Devaun Swafford.

“Shawn blocked his guy, and the safety rolled up,” Shuler said. “I broke that first tackle, and it was wide open. I tried to turn on the afterburners from there.”

A punt on fourth down on the ensuing Dobyns-Bennett series struck a Maryville player, returning the ball to the Indians at midfield. Foreman and Swafford marched Dobyns-Bennett to the Rebel 11-yard line in nine plays.

On fourth-and-2, Rebel tackle Marshall Knoll knifed through to stop Foreman short at the 10.

“We planned all week for the quarterback,” Knoll said. “He likes to jump around a lot.”

The Rebel offense came fully online with four minutes to play in the half. Shuler scored from a yard away for a 14-0 lead. When the Indians answered with a Swafford 3-yard run on the next possession, Myers hit Raymond for a 24-yard strike and a 20-6 Maryville lead at the half.

Dobyns-Bennett went 60 yards with the second half kickoff to trim the deficit to 20-13 on a 1-yard Swafford plunge.

Maryville hit back in three plays, Shuler taking a short toss from Myers 53 yards to open the lead again to two

Will Murrin and Shawn Brown cut off Indians quarterback Malik Foreman.

touchdowns. Back came the Indians, Swafford’s third score closing the gap to 27-20 with 11 minutes remaining. Prevo and the Maryville defense put it away from there.

“I didn’t think they did a great job covering backs, and they kind of sold out tonight,” Quarles said.

Prevo’s sizzling, 28-yard catch-and-run of a Myers short pass pried open a 34-20 margin with seven minutes to play. Rebel linebacker Will Murrin recovered an Indian fumble just shy of midfield one series later.

Six plays later, Prevo zoomed to the Dobyns-Bennett end zone for the final margin with 3:21 remaining.












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