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Week ending Aug. 31

Yoakum highlights defense with few, if any, holes

082914-AHS-MHS-5007-BPRMaryville defensive back Josh Yoakum cradles one of his two interceptions Friday night. Photo by Jenifer Clark

If Maryville coach George Quarles had any concerns about his defense prior to the season, replacing three starters in the defensive secondary would have been pretty much it.

Untitled-2That doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem.

In a 41-14 win over Alcoa Friday night at Shields Stadium, not only was the Rebels’ top tackler from the secondary, so was Josh Yoakum, the Barley’s/Blount Press Row Player of the Week.

Fellow defensive back Cameron Russell led the way with 10 tackles on a night Maryville held Alcoa to minus 7 yards of offense on the Tornadoes first three possessions. Alcoa finished with 50 yards and two first downs at the half. Yoakum got the nod as our player of the week due to his play all over the field, the Maryville junior finishing with seven tackles and both Rebel interceptions.

Defensive tackle Kyle Withrow also received consideration, setting the tempo for a dominant night up front with seven stops. Seven. From a tackle. Five others — linebacker T.D. Blackmon, defensive end Matt Young, linebacker Ethan Dudley and defensive backs Paul Bristol and Blake Henderson — had at least six tackles.

The short list: Maryville running back Jaylen Burgess, 18 carries, 122 yards, two touchdowns; WB receiver Joel Graham, three touchdown catches in loss to Morristown East.

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