Clicking on all cylinders: Maryville dominant early in county rivalry victory
By Will Estep | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In a battle of two county rivals, Maryville took control early against William Blount as the Rebels dominated on the way to their 38th consecutive victory with a 42-7 win. George Quarles team scored on its first five possessions of the night to set up a key District 4-AAA contest against Lenoir City in the regular season finale.
When Jaylen Burgess returned the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards to the end zone for Maryville, the clock began to run continuously as William Blount found itself down by 35.
“Obviously we gave up the big play, but it’s not the first time this year,” Quarles said. “I was hoping we would fix that. Other than that, I thought we played really well. The offense was sharp. We subbed a little bit at the end and had a turnover, but overall 42-7 you can’t complain too much.”
Maryville (9-0, 6-0 District 4-AAA) extended the series winning streak to 13 games over the Governors by striking quickly in the first half. Nick Myers hit Cody Carroll for a 21-yard touchdown pass on Maryville’s first drive of the contest.
“Usually if I’m open it’s because we usually have the right play called,” Carroll said. “Our offensive line set it up perfect. Nick hit me right in stride and it just kind of happened from there.”
Although William Blount (2-7, 1-5) trailed 14-0 midway through the first quarter, the Governors cut the score back to a one-possession game when Lane Bloom rumbled 64 yards for a touchdown. The play turned out to be longest of the night for the Governors, who are out of playoff contention heading into the final week of the regular season.
Bloom finished with 108 yards on 11 carries for a William Blount team that limps into their final game with injuries to key players against Maryville.
“It was tough,” said WB coach David Gregory. “The guys fought hard tonight. We just challenged them to play for pride and leave everything out there and I think they did, it was just a better team.”
The momentum ended for William Blount on the next possession, though, as Myers, who threw for 135 yards, connected with Logan Winders for an 80-yard touchdown pass with 4:00 left in the first quarter. The touchdown pass gave Maryville a 21-7 lead after a Miguel McNelly PAT.
“It was a good answer,” Quarles said. “We have become kind of a big play team our self. We have given up some big plays, but we can make some big plays too. Logan doesn’t have many catches this year, but he has a lot of touchdowns. He is pretty productive when you get the ball to him. That was a good answer.”
William Blount had a solid drive going late in the first half that could have given the Governors momentum heading into the half. Tim Green hit Joel Graham for a 22-yard gain on the drive, but WB saw the scoring chance negated when Rebels senior linebacker Haden Townsend picked off a pass at the five yard line to end any scoring chance.
“They are good, they do a great job,” Gregory said. “They are well coached. We fought hard, but that is the same feeling everybody else has.”
Trenton Shuler scored on a one-yard touchdown run to put Maryville up 35-7. He earlier scored on an eight yard run while his backfield mate Shawn Prevo scored on a 36 yard scamper. The two combined for 80 yards on seven carries.
William Blount wraps up the season next week against Farragut at home. The Rebels host Lenoir City, after the Panthers (8-1, 5-1) downed Farragut Friday night to claim sole possession of second place in the district standings following Knox West’s 24-17 win over Bearden.