Dodson carries Whitehaven past Maryville in OT
By Grant Ramey | (email@example.com)
COOKEVILLE — Whitehaven’s two-point conversion counted. Maryville’s didn’t.
All-everything tail back Mark Dodson ran off right tackle on the Tigers’ two-point try in overtime, crossing the goal line and collapsing in the end zone under a pile of teammates, giving his Whitehaven team the Class 6A state championship in a 36-35 thriller.
Maryville appeared to have taken the lead with just under 40 seconds left in the game on its own two-point attempt.
Tailback Shawn Prevo took a direct snap, pitched to a reversing Cody Carroll who then found a wide open Nick Myers for what looked to be an improbable 29-28 lead after the reverse-pass trick play.
“We put (that play) in this week and ran it several times. Executed it well each time. That was a nice little play,” Quarles said of the misdirection conversion. “I don’t know; Like I said, I hope the one they called in the end zone was in the end zone. Or that’s a shame if he wasn’t.”
The celebration was halted and the play was called back, though, after a Maryville player was ruled illegally downfield.
Maryville settled for a Miguel McNelly extra point after the penalty was assessed, tying the game at 28-28 with 38 seconds left on the clock.
Whitehaven, behind Dodson, went down the field the other way trying to win it in regulation.
Dodson gained 57 yards on first down and quarterback Patrick Smith found Darius Sims for a 19-yard completion a play later, setting up Whitehaven with a first and goal at the Maryville 9 with just over 11 seconds left on the clock and no timeouts to use.
Dodson ran again on first down, but was stopped by Maryville at the 5 yard line as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Dodson, an Ole Miss commitment, carried 34 times on the night for 321 and five touchdowns for Whitehaven (15-0).
Maryville (14-1) was led by Prevo’s 162 yards on 30 rushes, scoring three touchdowns. Trenton Shuler ran 10 times for 73 yards and Myers completed 8-of-15 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Myers found T.J. Kimble (5 catches, 58 yards) for a 13 yard touchdown pass to bring Maryville within 28-27 on its final drive.
Myers completed all four of his pass attempts on the drive for 50 yards and the score that eventually tied the game.
Dodson single-handedly brought his team from behind in the second half, scoring on touchdown runs of 15 and 10 yards to turn a 21-14 deficit into a 7-point lead.
The frantic finish erased what was a mistake-filled game for both teams for most of the night.
Maryville committed an uncharacteristic four turnovers (two fumbles and two interceptions). Whitehaven had three turnovers to go with 94 yards worth of penalties on 11 flags.
“We had a chance. We had all kinds of chances tonight. We turned it over too many times to win a game like this, and we didn’t play good enough defense to win,” Quarles said. “Bottom line is we just didn’t play well enough to win the game.”
The two teams were tied at 14-each in the first half, with all but seven of those points scored in the first two quarters coming off turnovers.
Whitehaven was called for nine penalties (five in the first quarter, four in the second) accounting for a loss of 74 yards in the first half. Maryville was penalized twice for 10 yards.
Maryville was poised to take a two-possession lead on its second next drive, but Shuler lost a fumble on first and goal from the Whitehaven 4 yard line. The Tigers recovered and wasted little time going the other way.
Dodson scored on a 71-yard touchdown run up the Maryville sideline to knot the game at 7-7 after Prevo cashed in a Whitehaven fumble on the Tigers’ opening drive.
Senior linebacker Will Murrin recovered the fumble on Whitehaven’s second snap of the game, and five plays later Prevo plunged in from 2 yards out for a 7-0 lead.