BY BRIAN HAMILTON
KNOXVILLE – Maryville jumped out on Hardin Valley early, taking a 28-3 lead in the first quarter and a 45-3 lead at halftime. The Rebels would win the game by a score of 61-3, despite a running clock in the second half.
Maryville amassed 398 total yards on 50 plays, while holding Hardin Valley to just 76.
“Our goal was to play fast and play with purpose and I thought we did that early on,” Maryville head coach Derek Hunt said. “Obviously, Hardin Valley isn’t having the kind of year they’d like to have, but doesn’t need to affect how we come out and perform.”
Noah Vaughn gave Maryville a 7-0 lead with a 1-yard plunge on the Rebels’ first drive. The Hawks fumbled on their first play from scrimmage and Mike Bethea returned it for a touchdown, putting Maryville ahead 14-0 with 10:39 left in the first quarter.
On Hardin Valley’s next possession, the Hawks would put together a 7-play, 58-yard drive, which resulted in a 39-yard field goal by John Aragon, trimming the Rebels’ lead to 14-3 with 7:29 left in the opening quarter.
Maryville went ahead 21-3 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Carson Jones to Markel Fortenberry with 5:48 left in the first. A 13-yard touchdown run by Vaughn would give the Rebels a 28-3 lead after one quarter of play.
Gage LaDue went into the end-zone from one yard out to give Maryville a 35-3 lead with 10:06 left in the second quarter. Corbin Price followed that with a 41-yard field goal to put the Rebels in front 38-3 with 5:37 left until halftime.
LaDue scored his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run with 1:36 left, giving Maryville a 45-3 halftime lead.
The Rebels opened the third quarter with a 12-play, 41-yard drive, capped with a 31-yard Price field goal to put Maryville ahead 48-3 with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
Jacob Morris went into the end zone for a 1-yard score in the fourth, putting the Rebels in front 54-3 with 7:38 left after the extra-point attempt failed.
A 47-yard interception return by Tezz Dozier gave Maryville a 61-3 lead with 3:25 left, which would be the final score.
The Rebels (8-0) kept their unbeaten season intact, but the last two games are two of their tougher games of the season, against West (7-1) and Bradley Central (8-0), which will decide the region champion. Both games are at home.
“Right now, it’s all eyes on West and they are really, really good,” Hunt said. “They’re well coached too, so it’s going to be a test for sure.”
Hardin Valley (0-8, 0-4 Class 6A Region 2) will host William Blount (1-7), as the Hawks try to avoid a winless season.