Maryville measures up, Rebels roll Oak Ridge
By Marcus fitzsimmons | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
OAK RIDGE – Maryville said it wanted to measure itself and Thursday night after a visit to Blankenship Field the precise reading in the Atomic City were a little skewed as top-ranked Maryville dominated No. 7 Oak Ridge when it mattered in a 38-23 victory.
Take the gross measurement and the Maryville starters outscored their Oak Ridge counterparts, 38-7, with an adjusted value for the Wildcat starters and their 16 fourth-quarter points against the second- and third-team Rebels
Maryville (5-0) rang up over 400 yards of offense in three quarters before the handing off a 38-7 lead to the next line to start the final quarter.
But it was the moment to end the third that said everything about the progression of the Rebels. Jim Gaylor’s defense forced Oak Ridge into three-and-out. With only one second left on the third quarter clock, starting QB Nick Myers faked play action to Shawn Prevo then zipped a pass 40 yards to Trenton Shuler who stuttered to pick up a block from T.J. Kimble at the 18 and went in for the score.
It completed a series where Maryville scored on seven of nine possessions while Oak Ridge (4-1) struggled to a scoreless first half.
“We did a much better job stopping the big play and did a good job of making our own big plays offensively,” Maryville coach George Quarles said. “We had a chance to score on that first drive but missed an open one, other than that I thought we played really, really sharp the first half.”
The Rebels were so efficiently capitalistic in the second quarter Maryville might consider an IPO to finish paying for that new turf. With a pair of two-play scoring drives MHS turned question mark into exclamation point.
A overthrown ball from Oak Ridge quarterback Rian Hall was easy pickings for John Garrett inside the 5, but Prevo turned backed up into breaking out. The junior, who was taking his first carries since a shoulder injury at West, ripped off a 94-yard run on second down using a midfield stiff arm to continue his way up the Oak Ridge sideline to the early 14-0 lead. Prevo amassed 140 yards on eight carries as the Rebels made it 34 consecutive wins.
“I think one of the big play was they get way behind our secondary and the ball slips out of (Hall’s) hand and John Garret intercepts it and we score two plays later on a 90-yarder,” Quarles said after going to 5-0 against Oak Ridge and 184-13 in his career.
When a Prevo fumble threatened to derail the Rebels’ opportunity from a fourth-down stand, Dylan Shinsky simply used all of his 5-foot-6 inch frame to block an Oak Ridge punt and set up another two-play scoring drive. Myers hit Kimble on play action to the left side then went opposite side on a fade to the flag pole corner for Chris Raymond and six.
“Nick was really sharp, making good decisions and doing what the offense allows him to do,” Quarles said as the senior finished 14-of-18 for 189 yards and three scores before spending the final stanza watching Tyler Vaught run the Rebel offense.
The Rebels even pulled out a Maryville trademark with the final score to beat the halftime clock on Miguel McNelly field goal.
Oak Ridge provided some solid schooling to the Maryville bench as the Rebels amassed experience against the Wildcat first team. Oak Ridge ran up more than 120 yards and the final 14 points over the last six minutes in an apparent attempt to take the sting out of a 7-point effort when it mattered and the three costly turnovers — the last a Brian Coulter interception.
“I think we got a lot better as a defense,” Coulter said. “early on we were coming up to play the run and trying to put some hits on Hall to see if we could rattle him or rattle the ball loose.”
Maryville returns to action next week, traveling to another Top 10 opponent with a District 4-AAA game at Bearden.