Blount Press Row

Leader of the Band

Livesay lets play do the talking for top-ranked Tornado defense

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By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Alcoa defensive coordinator Brian Nix once described Tornado senior linebacker Garrett Livesay as “your typical Alcoa kid,” maybe not biggest when he entered the program, maybe not the fastest, but he just wouldn’t quit.

When he said that in the final weeks of the regular season, Alcoa had the state’s fifth-best scoring defense. After Friday’s 24-0 shutout of Christian Academy of Knoxville in a Class 3A quarterfinal, the Tornadoes are No. 1, with Livesay, the Barley’s/Blount Press Row Player of the Week, leading the way.

Alcoa (12-1) hosts Notre Dame (10-3) in a Friday semifinal at 7 p.m.

Livesay registered a team-best eight tackles from his middle linebacker spot, to go with two pass break ups and two quarterback pressures, as Alcoa, 7.8 points allowed per game, assumed the top spot on Coacht.com as the state’s best scoring defense regardless of classification.

Rounding out the top five are Boyd Buchanan (8.0), Greeneville (9.0), Maryville (9.5) and Jo Byrns (10.2).

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Livesay’s totals Friday were in keeping with his season to date. Through 12 games, he was far and away the Tornadoes’ top tackler with 94 total stops, including seven tackles for loss and eight sacks.

To get a sense of the work rate Livesay has put in this season, sophomore linebacker Jack Warrick was next best for the Tornadoes through 12 games with 66 tackles.

Also enjoying a big night on defense in turning back Christian Academy for the second time this season were defensive back Dustin Clabough with six tackles and five pass break ups and rush end Ryan Clark with three sacks and five quarterback hurries.

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