Blount Press Row

Maryville vs. Fulton

What would happen if two of the state’s baddest teams got it on?

_MG_8267Rebel junior Dylan Jackson defends against Bradley Central last week. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Powell?

Paul Bristol makes the pick against Bradley Central last week.

Paul Bristol makes the pick against Bradley Central last week.

Crushed, 49-0.

Bearden?

Blown off the field, 52-0.

Austin-East, 63-0, Farragut, 55-7, Gatlinburg-Pittman, 62-8, Central, 69-14, the list goes on and on.

What would happen if Fulton played Maryville, though?

We say the Rebels would take ’em, and, with a little help from CoachT.com, here’s why.

The Falcons have scored at least 60 points in each of their last seven games entering Friday’s Class 4A second round game in Knoxville. In two of those games, Fulton clowned the other team for 74 points — and the other team didn’t score!

Chancellor Coates goes for the block.

Chancellor Coates makes the block against Sevier County.

What if the Falcons decide to go for the state record and blast Sullivan South for 194 on Friday, besting the 193 Dobyns-Bennett put in North Burton, Va., way back in 1926?

Even with a running clock, the Falcons could probably get it done.

On the season, Fulton is averaging a state-best 62.4 points per game. There are basketball teams that don’t put up those numbers in a season. College basketball teams!

As the two 74-0 shutouts indicate, it’s tough to score on the Falcons, too. Fulton is ranked second on CoachT.com’s defensive tables at 5.2 points yielded per game.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Who, Maryville or anybody else, would want any of that?

Well, hold on a minute. Let’s get inside the numbers.

First, let’s look at what the Rebels are doing.

John Garrett (12), Shawn Prevo (22) and Drew Curtis (55) await the coin toss against Alcoa.

John Garrett (12), Shawn Prevo (22) and Drew Curtis (55) await the coin toss against Alcoa. Photo by Brandon Shinn

Maryville is no slouch on offense. Paced by all-time leading rusher Shawn Prevo, quarterback John Garrett and receiver Cody Carroll, the Rebels rank fifth on the CoachT.com offensive table at 44.5 points per game. Head coach and offensive coordinator George Quarles – nine state championships, state-record 74-game win streak — can really call some plays, they say.

The guy running the defense is pretty good, too. Defensive coordinator Jim Gaylor replaced nine starters – nine! – entering the season, and yet the Rebels, with Division I-bound end Dylan Jackson setting tempo, rank fourth defensively statewide at 8.0 points surrendered per game.

They’re doing so with a freshman, T.D. Blackman, at middle linebacker. The Rebel leader in tackles wasn’t even on the varsity until pulled from a trip to the freshmen jamboree prior to the season.

“I was all dressed and over by the trees waiting for the bus,” Blackman said. “(Maryville assistant) coach (Ricky) Upton came over and said, ‘You can’t play. You’re being moved up to varsity.’”

T.D. Blackman gets off the block against West earlier this season.

T.D. Blackman gets off the block against West. Matt Young, the other freshman starter on defense this season, is at right.

Another freshman, Matt Young, was starting at defensive end before being injured a few games back. Jackson and defensive back John David Mitchell are the only two returning starters.

Granted, Jackson, with offers from Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Duke, is not your average returnee. We don’t know his 40 time, but, at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, he won the 40-yard dash for linemen at the jamboree pulling away.

Jackson is everything touted. Bradley Central, after playing Maryville to a 14-14 tie at the half in a Class 6A opener last Friday, just couldn’t block him in the second half in an eventual, 42-21 Rebel drubbing.

“I just got a little mad,” Jackson said, “and, in the second half, I just came out and started hitting them.”

Jackson isn’t going to take on Fulton’s offense 1-on-11, though, and it’s in the defense Gaylor has crafted around him we believe Maryville would have the edge if the gods of football – or the TSSAA – gave us the plus-one game we’d all love to see this season.

Now, the good stuff.

Marcus Brooks relieves a West Rebel of his helmet.

Marcus Brooks relieves a West Rebel of his helmet.

Only four Fulton opponents – Farragut, G-P, Carter, Christian County (Ky.) – won at least half their games during the regular season. In terms of strength of schedule, the Falcons rank 92nd in Class AA, Fulton opponents winning 41.8 percent of their games. Right below the Falcons at 93 is Chuckey-Doak.

Let’s look at the Rebels.

Maryville plays the 28th toughest scheduled in Class AAA, and that isn’t even the half of it.

Only three Rebels opponents DIDN’T win 50 percent of their games. An even closer look slams the door shut.

Webb has averaged 34.2 points per game this season. Against the Maryville, the Spartans could manage 15.

Alcoa is taxing teams for 41.8 points per outing.

Ethan Dudley makes the stick against West.

Ethan Dudley makes the stick against West.

Versus Maryville?

Two.

Only one Rebel opponent averaged less than 20 points per game this year, with Sevier County, 44.0, best of them of them all.

Against Maryville, the Bears were all but shut out, 55-6.

No doubt, Fulton is playing some awesome ball this season, but, in a Rebels vs. Falcons match, the numbers say Maryville, hands down.

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