Rebels been there, done that, do it again
For 13 games, Maryville has been the master of taking momentum to the intermission by putting the final — and often decisive points — of the first half on the scoreboard.
Maryville drove to that patented quick-march touchdown before break, but this time nobody was ready to run to the locker room yet. Not with 72 seconds still on the clock.
Siegel’s hurry-up offense needed 68 of those seconds to get downfield before settling for a field goal that gave the Stars the lead.
It was a mistake they may not make again.
In a game of touchdowns, kicking can make the difference. It did Friday.
Just not the way Siegel envisioned.
When the second-half smoke cleared, Maryville had eked out a 47-43 victory in Murfreesboro to make one more trip to the BlueCross Bowl.
Maryville had one more of those down-the-field-in-40-second drives left for game end.
Despite an extra-point-conversion game that made simple math matters of considered strategic logic, the further the game twisted on that count — Siegel had one attempt blocked and another miss while Maryville had a pair of 2-point attempts stuffed — this offensive highlight reel came down to who was going to make the most of its last possession.
When two dynamic offenses get the best games from their quarterbacks in the state semifinals, the fireworks are bound to explode. But Nick Myers might consider a thank you note to Gary Rankin and Eddie Courtney, the coaches of Alcoa and Farragut respectively, that begins “thank you for pushing me.” Maryville has been tested this season. It prevailed both times in high-pressure games that were high-scoring affairs by anything but CAK or Dobyns-Bennett standards,
When that situation rolled around Friday and one-legged quarterback Brent Stockstill was throwing everything but the pipes out of the bottom of the kitchen sink at Maryville to complete a stunning upset story, the Rebels knew what to do. Take it one play at a time.
One series at a time.
Win this snap.
Win this drive.
Win this game.
Maryville has been there and done that before.
Remember Siegel as a team is 10 years old. The Rebels have had more playoff games than the Stars have had games as a program. Maryville was 5-5 in state semifinals before the playoffs extended to five games. Since then, MHS is 13-2 when needing one win to reach the state championship game.
This was as much about the maturity of the Maryville attitude as the skills and the Rebels simple believe they will prevail and someway, somehow, they will make it happen. And the more they work and believe, the more it seems to happen.
It isn’t magic, and one season it won’t be the case, but that’s what makes it so unique.
So here’s to win No. 43, one of the hardest fought and most well-earned of them all.
Marcus Fitzsimmons is sports editor at The Daily Times. You can follow him on twitter at MDT_Sports. He wrote from Murfreesboro.