Blount Press Row

Horses For Courses

Rebels earn first-ever Bearden/Farragut sweep; move within game of first district title

Tyler Hudson, pictured here during last week’s draw with West, put Maryville in the driver’s seat for its first district soccer title with a goal at Bearden on Tuesday. Photos by G.W. Meredith

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Knoxville – Outlined against a beautiful, blue spring day sky, the Four Horsemen rode again.

Hudson makes inquiries about an official's ruling last week.

In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Hudson, Reilly, Fernandez and Jorgensen.

And, with due acknowledgement to Hall of Fame sportswriter Grantland Rice and the 1924 Notre Dame football team, this time Maryville High School’s soccer team got the win.

Tyler Hudson and Ryan Reilly struck for second half goals, each assisting the other’s strike, and the 2013 Rebels made program history Tuesday with a 2-0 blanking of Bearden.

Coupled with a Chris Fernandez goal in a 1-0 win over Farragut a week ago, it marked the first time Maryville (9-2-3, 5-0-1 District 4AAA) had ever beaten both the Bulldogs and Admirals in the same season. Rebel soccer made its debut in 1986.

Maryville coach Steve Feather kept his emotions in check after the match. There’s one more left.

William Blount comes calling on Monday. A win for the Rebels means a first-ever district championship, and Feather knows the Governors will bring everything but the kitchen sink to prevent it when the two rivals meet on the grounds at Maryville College.

“We have to stay focused,” Feather said.

Bearden didn’t yield the crown willingly. The Rebels peppered the Bulldog goal for eight, first-half shots, including a delightful, chested-down blast from Reilly, an early, go-ahead goal nullified by a linesman’s offside call.

“It wasn’t falling in the first half, but Bearden always plays physical,” Hudson said.

“We were a little unlucky there,” Reilly said. “We just had to keep our composure.”

Shaq-sized Maryville goalkeeper Ryan Jorgensen kept his sheet clean with a pair of heart-stopping saves the first 40 minutes. Alexander Rigatti was noticeable for his play in the back in helping to keep Bearden off the board. Will Barham’s possession play in midfield proved critical in limiting the Bulldogs’ chances.

Midway through the opening half, Maryville lost Fernandez to a hip injury when the freshman standout was undercut while heading the ball. The spill and resulting yellow card for the Bulldog defender fired the Rebels. Feather received a yellow card himself while attending to a still-down Fernandez for protesting rough play.

“I thought we were physically invested in the game,” Feather said, “but I don’t think we were mentally invested. We had players pushing people around, yelling at the ref.”

It did the trick. In the 54th minute, Hudson got Maryville the much-needed goal.

With Sam Paganelli and Austin Waddell pressing home the attack, Reilly found himself with a throw-in at the left touchline in the Bearden end. Tossing over the Bulldog defense to the far post, the Milligan signee found Hudson unattended. As the Bulldogs swarmed, Hudson kept his cool and spun right, slotting the ball back by keeper the other way for a 1-0 lead.

“Ryan made a great throw,” he said. “I was just trying to stay over (the ball).”

As match time waned, Hudson set up for a free kick just over the halfway line. A high, bending drive found Reilly at the far post, the Rebel senior heading home a finishing, 2-0 advantage.

“I was going far post,” he said. “I looked up at Tyler, and he played a perfect ball.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *