OOLTEWAH — Maryville coach Derek Hunt had one concern heading into Friday’s Region 2-6A matchup at Ooltewah.
The Rebels had just notched a big region win over the highly-touted Bradley Central, and Hunt worried his team could come out flat on the road following such an emotional game.
The Rebels quickly squashed those fears, scoring on their first three possessions en route to a 38-0 victory over Ooltewah.
“Obviously, our kids were ready to play,” Hunt said. “I thought that it showed maturity from our seniors that no matter the game or opponent or what the score is or who’s in the standard is the standard, and we expect to go out there and execute and play at a high level.”
Maryville (8-0, 4-0 Region 2-6A) entered halftime ahead 31-0, with Parker McGill accounting for two of those first-half touchdowns.
It’s not the first time the Rebels have had to sustain their composure coming off a big win.
They faced a similar task after defeating cross-county rival Alcoa, 17-3, followed by a bye week in September.
“We go in every week with the same attitude,” McGill said. “Especially against Alcoa, when we had that bye week, we still stayed the same. We didn’t get too hyped up. We didn’t think we were too good to go against the next team.”
McGill finished with 69 yards and two scores on 10 carries. He scored on the Rebels’ opening drive on a 7-yard run.
Quarterback Cade Chambers connected with Tanner Shiver for a 45-yard touchdown on their next possession just over eight minutes into the game.
Chambers completed 10 of 15 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown in the first half before getting sidelined.
“All week, we’ve preached we can’t get complacent,” Chambers said. “(Ooltewah) is a good team — a lot of athletes on this team. We knew if we came down here and started out flat that they could jump all over us really quick.”
After opening the second quarter with a 31-yard field goal by Corbin Price, Maryville experienced its first setback on its following drive when Chambers was intercepted by Ooltewah’s Mel McFarland with 6:44 left in the half.
Maryville’s defense made sure the Owls (2-5, 1-3) didn’t do anything with that momentum, limiting them to -5 rushing yards on that possession for a quick 3-and-out.
“They go down and score there and maybe it’s a momentum swing,” Hunt said. “But our defense got a stop and got the ball back for us, and then we were able to put points on the board the next drive.”
Maryville’s A.J. Davis returned the ensuing punt 47 yards to the Ooltewah 18, and McGill finished the job with his second rushing touchdown on Maryville’s first play.
The Rebels added one more score with 36 seconds left in the half when Chambers capped a 77-yard drive with a 3-yard rushing touchdown. They rounded out the scoring three minutes into the third quarter when Carson Jones connected with Brody Sloan for 23-yard touchdown.
Next up for Maryville is McMinn County (8-0, 4-0). The Rebels could clinch the region title with a win.
While a decisive victory over Ooltewah is most certainly a positive, Chambers said he is ready to shift his focus to where the Rebels can improve.
“It’s great for confidence, but we still know we have a long way to go,” Chambers said. “Each week, we’re fighting for that perfect game. We have yet to get it, but hopefully we will before the season ends.”