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It’s Miller Time!

Rebels unload full arsenal in stunning rout of Sevier County

Junior tight end Bryce Miller races undetected through the Bear secondary Friday night. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Sevierville — It just got a whole lot tougher to play Maryville.

Rebel quarterback John Garrett weaves his way through the Sevier County defense.

There’s a big-play tight end on the loose now.

Junior Bryce Miller had a pair of first-half grabs for 45 yards, both leading to scores, and the No. 1-ranked Rebels unloaded a full broadside on previously unbeaten Sevier County in a 55-6 thrashing Friday night.

Miller’s contributions are as representative as any of a Rebel offense that put to use virtually every weapon in its arsenal to run through, around and throw over the Bears.

“I thought he (Miller) had a chance to hurt them with some big plays,” Maryville coach George Quarles said. “Sometimes, you can hit those guys underneath.”

Senior Shawn Prevo was electrifying for the Rebels (5-0), carrying 10 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns, all while gashing the Sevier County defense as a pass-catching option out of the backfield.

The Maryville feature back had rushing touchdowns of 30 and 1 yards. A first-quarter catch-and-run of a John Garrett short toss finished with Prevo hurdling a would-be Sevier County tackler at the Bear 28-yard line.

Shawn Prevo hurdles a Sevier County defender after a first-half catch.

Wide out Cody Carroll snared the second of two touchdown catches from Garrett on the next play for a 14-0 lead with four minutes still to play in the first. Carroll’s first score was from 36 yards, the crafty senior racing behind the Bear secondary to open the onslaught on the game’s first possession.

With Sevier County (4-1) sufficiently concerned with Carroll, Garrett, 74 yards, Prevo and backfield mate Jaylen Burgess, 76 yards, one score, next cut loose.

Prevo broke a tackle at the line and raced in from 30 yards for a 21-0 lead with a minute to play in the opening quarter. Garrett kept over the right side to score from 20 yards to make it 28-0 with eight minutes to play in the half. Burgess bulled in from 11 yards to make 35-6 at the two-minute mark.

Sophomore Luke Orren connected on a 33-yard field goal as the horn sounded for a stunning, 38-6 halftime margin. Garrett continued a sizzling senior season with a night of 9-of-12 passing for 170 yards and the two scoring tosses to Carroll.

Receiver Cody Carroll sets up the spin cycle.

In the first half alone, Sevier County yielded 414 yards of offense to Maryville. The Bears had a lot to think about in the locker room, and, really, it wasn’t what the Maryville offense was doing to them.

“The defense, I think, has been key,” Quarles said. “Offense gets a lot of the credit and notoriety, but the defense has set the tone all year.”

Part of Miller’s emergence as a receiving option grew from the desire to have highly-touted junior prospect Dylan Jackson go full-time on defense. It’s had a catastrophic effect on opposing offenses. Sevier County found out just how much the first time it snapped the ball.

Jackson, with offers from Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Duke, poured through from his defensive end position to bear hug Sevier County quarterback Luke Manning for a 4-yard loss. With freshman Matt Miller menacing Manning from the other end, tackle Ritchie Koons causing problems up the middle, Sevier County’s high-powered offense could generate only five first downs a little over 100 yards through a half of play.

Rebel sophomore Kyle Withrow chases Bear quarterback Luke Manning out of bounds as Ritchie Koons (78) pursues.

Maryville replaced eight starters on defense this season from last year’s Class 6A runners up.

“I’m going to give a lot of the credit to the front,” Maryville defensive coordinator Jim Gaylor said. “The front four controlled their running game, which was a big key. Once they can’t run, you know they’re going to throw it.”

“We’re playing hard, practicing hard and proving people wrong,” Jackson said.

Sevier County’s Zach Sauls broke up the shutout with a 1-yard dive with 4:26 to play in the half.

The Bear running game, though, was dead before end of the first quarter. The Maryville secondary, highlighted by a big night from junior linebacker Dylan Shinksy and senior defensive back Chandler Coates, had only one bad play in the game.

Prevo, 1 yard, Orren a 28-yard field, and sophomore running Jaylen Nickerson, on a 66-yard dazzler, each had second half scores for Maryville.

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