Rebels have lot to play for, improve on with WB
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
Last week wasn’t the first time someone showed up and refused to go quietly into Maryville’s sweet night.
While Farragut matched Maryville score for score in the second half last week on the way to a 60-41 setback at Shields Stadium, it was only last October that a District 4-AAA opponent refused to go away. William Blount was last season’s defensive wake-up call for the Rebels after scoring more points — 21 — than any other opponent during the Rebels’ undefeated season.
“They made some big plays on last year,” Maryville coach George Quarles said comparing game No. 186 to No. 200 in his coaching career. “It was very similar watching the tape of last week’s game against Farragut and last year’s game against William Blount. WB big played us. The defense watched both those tapes this week and maybe it kind of got them refocused a little bit. We still have to go out and perform but the preparation has been good.
“It’s the old cliché but it’s the same after every game, you’re looking for things you can correct. Against Farragut clearly we gave up big plays. We forced seven three-and-outs which is good but we gave up some scoring plays. We’d stop them, stop them, stop them, then give up a big play. That’s been a point of emphasis on that side of the ball.”
Even after giving up 41 points last week, it wasn’t a panic situation for Maryville as the Rebels prepared for tonight’s game against William Blount.
“I told them it could always be worse, you could give up 41 and lose,” Quarles said. “There wasn’t a lot of gloom and doom. It was more a case of looking at the things we needed to correct. I think the kids responded well and it clearly had their attention this week. They were focused in practice which is what you really want to see as a coach.”
But even as Maryville generated 629 yards of offense, 24 first downs and 60 points last week, Quarles had things identified for the Rebel offense to work on this week for the Govs, who always come charged for the meeting with Maryville.
“Offensively believe it or not we didn’t block them just great. We did a lot of things well in that game and part of that was the defense we faced. They were bound and determined not to let us run it, so they gave up some things deep because they were sucking up on the run. Our kids did notice that we missed some blocks at times that could have made it easier for us,” Quarles said. “We got after them a little bit. We film practice Tuesdays and review it Wednesday morning and try to be critical of that. That’s been the best way to keep us focused to view our film as critically as we can and realize there is always something we can improve on.”
And after what happened last season Maryville knows there is no looking past WB tonight with a district race that is still very close and full of playoff implications as the list of undefeated 6A teams has refused to whither the last few weeks.
“It’s a county rival and it’s a district game,” Quarles said. “It’s a district race that’s not over yet by any stretch, Bearden and Lenoir City have one loss each, so there’s a lot to play for. It’s a really important game for us.”