Maryville High School graduate Dylan Hopkins is making the most of his opportunity as a starting college quarterback.

Hopkins, a redshirt freshman at UAB, has started the last four games and has led the Blazers to three consecutive victories. Their latest triumph — a 26-21 road result against North Texas in the regular season finale — combined with a loss by Southern Mississippi netted UAB a berth in the Conference USA championship game.

The Blazers (9-3, 6-2) will travel to Boca Raton, Florida, to face host Florida Atlantic (9-3, 7-1) on Saturday (1:30 p.m.; CBS Sports Network).

They are seeking their second consecutive conference title.

Hopkins started the season as the backup to Tyler Johnston III and appeared in four games. In the Blazers’ game against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium, however, Johnston suffered an injury and has remained sidelined ever since. Hopkins recorded the first completed pass of his career and his first touchdown pass in the 30-7 loss to Tennessee.

In the week leading up to the game against the Vols, Hopkins told the Daily Times he was ready for his chance to start no matter when it came.

Since he became a starter, he is 37-for-68 (54.4%) for 483 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has rushed 48 times for 187 yards and one touchdown.

In a win over UTEP on Nov. 16, he passed for 96 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 163 yards and another touchdown. That performance included a 78-yard run.

FOOTBALL

Alcoa grad

Matthew McClurg (Tennessee Tech) made two tackles in a loss to Eastern Kentucky.

Greenback grad

Tavin Kilpatrick (Tennessee Tech) caught one pass for five yards in the season finale against Tennessee State. The tight end concluded the season with 22 catches for 224 yards and three touchdowns.

Greenback grad

Kayne Roberts (Chattanooga) made one tackle in a season-ending loss to VMI. The North Carolina transfer finished his first season with the Mocs with 19 tackles.

Alcoa grad

Malik Love (New Hampshire) had season-highs of 11 receptions and 115 receiving yards in a Border Battle win over Maine on Nov. 23 that brought the Brice-Cowell Musket back to the Wildcats after they had lost it in 2018. The wide receiver concluded his senior season with 48 receptions for 542 yards and one touchdown.

King’s Academy grad

Jason Maduafokwa (East Tennessee State) had four solo tackles, including one sack and one other tackle for loss in a win over Mercer. In a season-ending loss at Vanderbilt, he had one sack and another half tackle for loss. The senior defensive lineman had 8.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks, and 45 total tackles this season.

Alcoa grad

Braxton Dockery (Carson-Newman) had one tackle in a Division II NCAA Tournament opening round win over Bowie State, and he had two tackles in a second-round loss to Lenoir-Rhyne.

Maryville grad

Tommy Smith (Central College) made two tackles in a Division NCAA Tournament opening round win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In a second-round loss to Wheaton (Illinois) he had one tackle.

VOLLEYBALL

Heritage grad

Kailey Keeble (Tennessee) had a career-high 13 digs to go with nine assists in the Vols’ regular season finale — a sweep of Mississippi State. The freshman setter finished the season with averages of 3.4 assists per set and 1.6 digs per set.

Maryville grad

Madison Coulter (Tennessee) finished her junior season with a career-best average of 3.97 digs per set. The defensive specialist also had 87 assists in 108 sets.

Maryville grad

Chesney McClellan (Auburn) had eight kills and two blocks in a four-set loss at Tennessee. In the season finale — a sweep of Alabama — she had four kills and no errors on 10 attempts to go with five blocks. The middle blocker finished her junior season with 1.75 kills per set and 0.70 blocks per set.

Heritage grads

Layla Grant and

Ashelyn Vandergriff (Milligan) led the defense in a four-set loss to Martin Methodist in the first round of the NAIA National Championship Tournament. Grant had a team-high 16 digs, two assists and one ace. Vandergriff had 10 digs.

BASKETBALL

Maryville grad

Lindsey Taylor (Furman) has scored in double figures in four of her last five games. In a loss at Middle Tennessee State the freshman had 10 points and two rebounds. In a road win over Gardner-Webb she had 10 points and six rebounds.

William Blount grad

Lindsey Roddy (Lee University) scored 10 points in a win over Auburn-Montgomery, and she had eight points, four assists and three rebounds in a win over Shorter. In Wednesday’s victory over Johnson University that got the Flames to 8-0, she had four points, five assists and four steals.

Heritage grad

Maddie Sutton (Tusculum) had 11 points and three offensive rebounds in a win over Johnson & Wales, and she had 12 points and eight rebounds in a South Atlantic Conference game against Lenoir-Rhyne.

William Blount grad

Taylor Goforth (Carson-Newman) had two points and one assist in a loss to Clayton State.

Maryville grad

Olivia Pepperman (Trevecca-Nazarene) had 13 points and six rebounds in a loss to Southern Indiana. In a loss to Auburn-Montgomery she had 10 points and seven rebounds, and she scored 10 points in a setback against Bellarmine.

Heritage grad

Libby Gardner (Maryville College) had four points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals in a win over No. 10-ranked Transylvania. In a loss to Southern Virginia the following day she had 12 points, eight assists and three rebounds.

William Blount grad

Abbi Joseph (Maryville College) had seven points, four rebounds and three assists against Transylvania. Against Southern Virginia she had eight points and four rebounds.

Maryville grad

Courtney Carruthers (Maryville College) scored three points against Transylvania, but missed the Southern Virginia game with an ankle injury.

Alcoa grad

Madison McClurg (Tennessee Wesleyan) had six points and three rebounds in a loss to No. 20-ranked Bryan College.

Alcoa grad

Hannah Troutt (Tennessee Wesleyan) had five points and two rebounds against Bryan and three points and four rebounds in a loss to Allen University.

Maryville grad

Tristan Upchurch (King) scored three points on his only field goal attempt and grabbed one rebound in two minutes of action during a win over Johnson University.

William Blount grad

Orion Mashburn (Johnson) had two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal in a loss to King.

William Blount grad

Chance Pride (Kentucky Christian) scored two points and got one rebound and one steal in a loss to Liberty.

Alcoa grad

Jonathan Webb (Tennessee Wesleyan) had two points and three rebounds in a loss to Bryan College.

SWIMMING

Maryville grad

Alex Mays (North Carolina) qualified for one “A” final and two “B” finals at the nine-team Georgia Tech Fall Invitational that lasted three days. His “A” final appearance netted a ninth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke. He made the “B” final in the 100 backstroke and the 400 individual medley.

Heritage grad

Ethan Hathcock (Wingate) qualified for the “B” final and placed 16th overall in the 200-yard freestyle at the Fall Frenzy Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Follow @RipSports on Twitter to get more from sports editor Corey Roepken.

Sports Editor

Corey is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and spent six years at The Houston Chronicle before joining The Daily Times in the summer of 2018.

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