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No. 1 Maryville pours it on early, cruises to shutout victory against Bearden


MARYVILLE — For No. 1-ranked Maryville, 11-0 overall and looking good, the beat goes on after last Friday’s Class 6A opening round playoff win.

Maryville flexed enough muscles to lead 35-0 over Bearden at the half and coasted home in the second half with the “mercy rule” in effect to end the Bulldogs’ season at 5-6. Bearden, once holding a 4-1 record back in mid-September, lost five of its last six in the “big boy” portion of its schedule.

Much the way they did back on Sept. 30 on this same field, Maryville jumped to the early lead and took advantage of every opportunity before a much less than capacity crowd at Jim Renfro Field.

Maryville played the field position game beautifully and made the plays necessary to take another step toward another state title behind a smoothly blocking line, the stellar play of quarterback Patton Robinette, and a running attack that kept the Dawgs’ defense off balance.

 Bearden, which kicked the opening kickoff short in the first game, tried the deep kickoff, and the result was a long return that set Maryville up at the Bulldog 49. Ten plays and 6:47 later, it was 7-0, and the die was cast.

“We made mistakes, and they made plays,” BHS head coach Brad Taylor said. “They will make plays if given the chance.


“Our guys competed. We can build on that.”

The lead went to 14-0 after a turnover set up the Rebels at the Bearden 26. Three plays later, it was 14-0.

Christian Robinson grabbed an interception of a tipped pass, and the Bulldogs were in business at the 48 with a chance to cut into the lead. That drive was sustained when Ethan Pollack ran for 15 yards off a fake punt that caught MHS by surprise.

Then another Bearden turnover followed and set up another Maryville score that came with 9:58 left in the half.

Maryville would score twice more on short drives set up by field position engendered by the kicking game and a Bearden penalty. The first came with Maryville at the Bearden 49.

The other score came after a defensive holding call after a Rebels pass fell short on fourth-and-7 from the Bearden 37. The TD came with 28 seconds left.

“There were no surprises,” Bulldogs senior tailback Josh Haney said. “They lined up and played. They executed, and we didn’t. The turnovers hurt a lot. Our mistakes didn’t help.”

Bearden had one second-half drive after Hayden Sparks came out of the pile with a fumbled punt at the 24 that reached the Maryville 11 before MHS reserves tightened up the defensive effort and took over at the 10.

“They just keep coming at you. It’s like 15 guys coming at you,” Bearden quarterback Nicky Frizen said. “I made some bad decisions, and we turned it over.

“We have a lot of guys returning. We need to go to work to compete with these guys and hope for a better showing.”

 

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