Clouds part for kickoff: Maryville Orthopaedic Clinic Blount County Football Jamboree opens season with thunder
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
Thunder rumbled 34 minutes before kick off of the Maryville Orthopaedic Clinic Blount County Football Jamboree as the sky got prematurely dark over Shields Stadium at Maryville High School Friday night.
The rain came with 32:02 showing on the warm-up clock, but slackened by the 25-minute mark. The clouds parted, the umbrellas went down, the ponchos came off, and the colors and sounds of high school football returned to Blount County.
“It was a good crowd and maybe some people who saw the forecast and might have stayed home decided to come out and see Maryville’s new field,” Heritage athletic director Robbie Bennett said after the location was moved from Heritage on Thursday because of concerns over the field conditions.
Maryville’s new AstroTurf stood up well as the rain just settled the surface into a darker shade of green during its unexpected unveiling to the public.
William Blount took the first snap of the jamboree and Alcoa got the first score of the night as Tornado signal-caller Peyton Wall took a three-step drop and found Malik Love splitting the hashes uncovered for a 36-yard touchdown toss to complete a 2-minute drive. Maryville’s Nick Myers hooked up with Cody Carroll on a 25-yard strike to open the first half of the third quarter against Heritage. Greenback scored on its opening possession as well, riding Richard Seymour’s ground gains before Landon Disney took a reception to the 1 and quarterback Eric Anderson went wide on the sneak as the first drives bore the majority of the night’s offensive highlights. Masey Fox kicked the extra point for the ’Kees with the blonde ponytail hanging out the back of her helmet.
“We just ran our base first-day type of stuff,” Maryville coach George Quarles told The Daily Times. “It was good to get your game uniform on and kind of play in a game situation under the lights in front of people, because we have some that haven’t done it very much and you want to make sure they can do it when the lights come on.”
The defenses had their moments as well.
Alcoa’s Braylon Young brought the Aluminum City faithful to their feet as the first of the match-up’s 10-minute quarters came to a close against William Blount. The junior snagged up a Gov fumble, gave a stiff-arm to the only Gov close enough to stop him and rode in the middle of a heavy convoy comprised primarily of ends and tackles 76 yards for the score. Austin Wallace booted home the only field goal attempt to the jamboree with 3:18 to play in the second half of the first quarter. Zach Whaley stopped a Maryville drive with an interception at the 2 and Maryville‘s Danny Finch took it right back recovering a fumble at 5 on the ensuing play.
William Blount put on a show in the skills competition behind the leg of Ryan Hodgson. The senior set the long marks in the punt and kickoff competitions with the opening kicks and watched from downfield as all chances to reach or best him fell short. William Blount quarterback Tim Green followed it up with the longest pass. Greenback’s Michael Clune huffed out the award for the fastest lineman in the 40-yard dash while the entire Alcoa team surrounded Shawn Love after the speedster won the 40 for backs against the likes of Heritage’s Je’Rell Bledsoe and Greenback’s Richard Seymour.