Corbin Price has not been asked to make many game-deciding kicks over the course of his Maryville career.
The junior kicker proved he is ready when the opportunity presents itself with a trio of field goals Friday during the Rebels’ 30-27 victory over Alcoa in the 93rd Battle of Pistol Creek.
“At this level of football, if you can’t make a kick like that with pressure, it’s going to be hard to win some big games because you’re going to play in some close ones,” Maryville coach Derek Hunt said. “He’s started since he was a freshman, and he’s made plenty of big kicks, so we have full confidence in him.”
Price gave Maryville (4-0) a 10-0 lead with a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter and extended the advantage to 20-7 after a 41-yard kick on the final play of the first half. The second kick was originally a 46-yard attempt but a neutral zone infraction moved the try up five yards, and Price needed every bit of it to set a new career-high.
“It was questionable there for a bit,” Price said. “I just believed in it. I was blowing on it trying to get it to go farther.”
If the field goal before halftime challenged his leg, his final attempt tested his mettle.
With the Rebels leading 27-20 with less than five minutes remaining, Price trotted onto the turf at Goddard Field with a chance to give Maryville a two-possession lead. The 22-yard attempt was never in doubt despite all the pressure on his shoulders.
“You can feel every ounce of it, especially being next to the student section,” Price said. “Your adrenaline is running, but you just have to do what you got to do and focus on everything you’ve learned since you started playing football.”
Price was not the only Maryville kicker to do his job to perfection.
Senior kicker Charles Trentham placed all five of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, negating the ability of Alcoa junior running back Jordan Harris to break a long return.
Harris nearly has two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season, breaking loose against Rhea County and Northview Academy before getting tripped up by the last possible defender.
“(Trentham) can hammer it,” Hunt said. “Corbin can kick it into the end zone, too, but Charlie is more consistent. That was a huge advantage for us to to not let them have a a return, put them back and make them go 80 yards.”
In a game defined by two Alcoa rallies and Maryville finding a way to hold on, Price and Trentham played a large part in keeping the Rebels undefeated heading into another Region 2-6A game at Bearden.
“It’s never an ‘I’ thing, it’s always a ‘we’ thing,” Price said. “It took the whole team to drive down the field for me to get the opportunity to kick those field goals. I want to thank my whole offense, defense, my snapper and my holder.”