Blount Press Row

Grip and Rip It

Vaught opens with nine straight as Rebels roll against Webb

IMG_5206Maryville tight end Bryce Miller turns up field with one his four catches on Friday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Tyler Vaught staked Maryville to a two-touchdown lead with a pair of perfectly thrown balls right out of the gate.

Rebel running back Jaylen Burgess makes for the end zone as backfield mate Dylan Shinsky sets the block.

Rebel running back Jaylen Burgess makes for the end zone as backfield mate Dylan Shinsky sets the block.

Against a Maryville defense that returns eight starters from a year ago, that’s not a good thing.

One Webb mistake, and the gap was three scores early in the third, more than enough to power the Rebels to a convincing, 28-7 win in the season opener for both teams Friday night at Shields Stadium.

“Overall, I think it was just a good way to start the year,” Maryville coach George Quarles said.

Vaught hit his first nine passes as defending Class 6A champion Maryville rolled to a 14-0 lead before the first quarter change. Making his first start, the Rebel senior strafed the Spartans on 11-of-15 passing for 217 yards and touchdown throws to wide out Kelby Brock and tight end Bryce Miller, two, by the close of business.

There were a couple of picks, one of them on a tipped ball at the line, but Vaught’s debut finished an unqualified success.

Rebel senior Jaylen Burgess rushed for more yards than the Spartan wing-T all by himself. In his debut as the Maryville feature back, Burgess carried 14 times for 119 yards and a touchdown – averaging an awesome 8.5 yards per carry.

“We just kept trying to hit it in there and wear them down,” Burgess said.

Webb is generally terrific at the wing-T.

IMG_5421“Not all teams run the wing-T that well,” Maryville tackle Ritchie Koons said, “but, Webb, they’re great at it. They’ve got some really fast guards.”

Against the Rebels, the Spartans could generate only 112 yards on the ground on 41 carries.

Maryville went 80 yards with the opening kickoff, covering the distance in 12 plays with a liberal mix of the run and the pass. On first-and-10 at the Webb 32, Vaught led Brock perfectly on a deep ball down the right side, the season’s first touchdown giving the Rebels a 7-0 lead with eight minutes to play in the quarter.

One possession later, a 77-yard, nine-play march resulted in a 14-0 advantage when Miller lined up wide on a third-and-18 at the Webb 35. The tall Rebel tight end drew a favorable match up and Vaught hit him in stride down the right side.

Miller led all Rebels receivers on the night with four catches for 124 yards and the two scores.

“The way they line up against us in trips is a little different,” Quarles said. “He (Miller) does a lot of the same stuff from a split end spot. Tyler did a great job of reading it and getting him the ball.”

The Spartans looked ready to keep the deficit at a manageable level on the next possession, driving to third-and-8 at the Rebel 26-yard line. Koons stripped a Webb ball carrier of the pigskin at the 27, with linebacker Ethan Dudley recovering.

Dylan Jackson (79) and ? wrap up the Spartans Alexander Berube.

Dylan Jackson (79) and Zwolinski wrap up Alexander Berube.

Big plays defensively carried Maryville from there.

Webb linebacker Brant Mitchell picked off a Vaught pass with two minutes to play in the half, the Spartans setting up shop first-and-10 at the Rebel 15.

Drake Martin got the ball right back for Maryville four plays later with an interception of a Spartan pass to preserve a 14-0 lead at the half.

Rebel place-kicker/punter Luke Orren proved a decided Maryville advantage on special teams. Four of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. A well-struck punt pinned the Spartans deep at their 16 to begin a drive.

A Webb miscue in the punting game turned the contest for good with eight minutes to play in the third.

Kelby Brock runs under a Rebel touchdown pass.

Kelby Brock runs under a Rebel touchdown pass.

A mishandled snap on fourth down resulted in the Rebels taking over in first-and-goal at the Spartan 9-yard line. A holding call on first down made it first-and-goal from the 18, only to see Burgess sweep around left end, step out of a tackle and sprint to the end zone for a 21-0 lead.

Webb rallied on the ensuing possession, Spartan quarterback Brock Beeler targeting Mason Staten for a 37-yard score to trim the ground to make up to 21-7.

Vaught hit back on the next drive, hitting Miller again, this time from 61 yards, to restore the lead to three scores.

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