Blount Press Row

Deploy The Groove

Hodge runs for 4 TDs as Rebels storm away

Maryville running back Tee Hodge celebrates one of his four touchdowns Friday at Fulton with offensive lineman Graham Shelley. Photo by Wallace Bowden

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Knoxville — Maryville’s got some really neat plays.

Tee Hodge in the wildcat, sprint left, reverse to quarterback Cade Chambers, who lined up at receiver … Ashton Maples, Bryson Teffeteller and Brody Sloan work the three-man shift; Hodge shifts from wingback to halfback; Fulton’s linebackers freak …

Football players love that stuff!

When it came to winning time, though, the Rebels went old school Friday night on Broadway, a steady dose of backs Tee Hodge and Bryson Teffeteller lifting Maryville to a 35-20 win at Fulton.

“It wears on those guys,” Maryville coach Derek Hunt said. “Their best players play both ways. The more we can bang on them, the more it wears them out.”

Hodge, a junior, beat on the Falcons for 127 yards and four touchdowns on runs of 3, 1, 13 and 29 yards. His final burst put the Rebels (4-1) out front by the final margin with five minutes remaining.

Teffeteller delivered a stunning, 57-yard jolt up the left side to pull Maryville even at 14-all in a wild opening quarter.

It wasn’t so much the Rebels physically overpowered the Falcons. It was the cumulative effect of Hodge & Co. wearing on Fulton’s defense for four quarters. It was what it did for the Rebel passing game and the team’s mental approach in general.

Bryson Teffeteller backs out of the throttles after a half-field, first-quarter touchdown run. Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Early blasts from the Maryville backfield didn’t carve gaping holes in the Fulton defense, but it brought the linebackers up close. Hunt, a former Rebel quarterback himself, doesn’t miss much. It wasn’t long before junior Cade Chambers fired a strike to receiver Ashton Maples racing behind those linebackers.

“We saw they were playing man and they left the middle open,” Maples said.

The hookup put Maryville deep in Fulton territory early in the opening quarter. Hodge popped through from there pull the Rebels even at 7-all.

Teffeteller was by the linebackers and up the sideline equally quick soon after to reel in another Falcon lead and tie things at 14-apiece. Twin blasts from Hodge sent Maryville to the locker room with a 28-14 lead. The Rebels didn’t go to the dressing room in a celebratory mood, though.

“Fulton has a great defense and they had a good game plan,” Hodge said. “Coach Hunt was getting on us (at halftime). We knew we had to turn it up.”

“We needed to come back out and play more physical,” Teffeteller said.

Trace Parris cuts back behind a block from Rebel teammate A.J. Davis. Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Hunt was none too subtle with his play calling when play resumed to make sure that’s just what happened.

“We were just trying to move the ball,” center Jack Barbee said. “Once (Hunt) ran it back to back, the O-line got it in our minds that’s what we were going to do.”

Fulton brought Hunt’s halftime warnings close up when a Josh Malone touchdown pass pulled the Falcons within 28-20 with seven minutes to play in the third. Maryville just kept pounding away: more Hodge, more Teffeteller. The clock kept running.

At the five-minute mark of the fourth, Hodge dashed 29 yards off left tackle to put the lead back at two scores.

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