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At Last

Reilly goal claims for Rebels first District 4AAA crown

Rebel senior Ryan Reilly looks to play the ball through to teammate Will Barham on Monday. Photos by Brandon Shinn

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

It’s expected a goal of such importance have a little sauce on it.

William Blount goalkeeper Daniel Pelfrey makes a point-blank deflection of a Spencer Weston shot to deny a goal.

It did.

Ryan Reilly dispossessed a William Blount defender near the top the 18-yard box, touched up once and fired a hard, bending shot just inside the near post.

The senior’s strike, coming in the 28th minute, proved all Maryville needed in a 2-0 win over the Governors Monday night at Maryville College.

With freshman Chris Fernandez adding a second goal nine minutes from halftime, the 2013 Rebels (10-3-3, 6-0-1 District 4AAA) finished the first team in program history to close the regular season as district champions in a league that contains five-time state champion Farragut and three-time winner Bearden.

“Making it through a district with such high caliber teams and not lose to any of them, you have to be proud,” Maryville coach Steve Feather said.

Chris Fernandez makes the throw-in from the touchline.

Wins over the Admirals, 1-0, and Bulldogs, 2-0, this season marked the first time the Rebels had beaten both in the same campaign, setting the stage for Monday’s title match with the Governors. A 0-0 draw with West was Maryville’s only district blemish this season.

“This is a huge thing for Maryville High School soccer history,” Reilly said. “We knew we had a chance to do it. We just had to stay composed.”

The regular-season crown brings with it an automatic berth to next month’s region tournament.

Maryville got an early look at a goal before play settled, William Blount (7-8-1, 1-5-1) getting its share of the run of play in the early minutes. The Rebels took control of the midfield as the half wore on, seniors Tyler Hudson and Daniel Manis exerting pressure on the Governor defense from the edges.

When a mishandled Governor clearance flashed an opportunity, Reilly pounced, collecting the ball at the right top of the penalty area. Touching up once for accuracy, the Milligan College signee’s bending blast swerved right and well clear of William Blount keeper Daniel Pelfrey.

Hudson got things going on the second goal, and angled pass out of midfield putting Manis in behind the Governor defense at the left touchline. Manis took the ball to the flag before driving a low, sharp pass across the box to an onrushing Fernandez.

The Rebel student section gets into the spirit of the occasion.

“Coach kept saying, ‘Take it down the line! Take it down the line!’” Manis said. “So I just did what he said.”

Fernandez caught the ball square with his right foot, the well-taken chance noticeably easing the pressure of a big night.

“I felt it,” Fernandez said. “Now, we could just play. Now, we were just having fun and playing soccer.”




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