A beautiful, yet balmy day in Maryville,TN was the backdrop for one of the premier high school football games of the young season. Fans lined up at the break of dawn this morning to make sure they got to see this one in person. The stands were filled with fans and anticipation for this rivalry game, as over 10,000 fans jammed into Maryville’s new football stadium to take in the action on Sunday afternoon.
The Marvyille Rebels came in riding a 30-game winning streak, their last defeat coming at the hands of today’s opponent, the Alcoa Tornados, in the season opener of 2010. Alcoa had their own 44-game win streak snapped in last year’s game, so revenge was on the Alcoa players minds from the opening whistle.
Maryville received the ball first and marched straight down the field behind first-year starting quarterback Nick Myers and running back Sean Privo. Privo capping the drive with a 15 yard scamper to paydirt for the first score of the game at the 8:40 mark of the first quarter.
On Alcoa’s first possession of the game, the Tornadoes made a gutsy call to go for it on 4th down with Ezekiel Cocoa getting the carry, but Maryville’s defense was ready and mad the stop forcing the turnover on downs. However, the Rebels were not able to put a drive together punting the ball back to Alcoa. With 1:28 left on the clock in the first quarter, the Tornadoes connected on a 68-yard completions for a touchdown to level the score at 7-7 at the first break.
Early in the 2nd, Maryville was faced with another 4th and short and chose to go for it on a run by Privo, but, this time, it was the Tornadoes turn to come up with the defensive stop. Momentum was firmly with Alcoa as it made its way into Rebel territory, converting its own 4th down attempt inside Maryville’s 20 yard line which led to an Ezekiel Cocoa 6-yard touchdown run to put the Tornados up 14-7 with 6:05 left in the opening half. The Rebels received the ball one last time in the first half and Myers connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass with :19 left on the clock. A missed extra point brought the halftime score to 14-13 Alcoa.
Alcoa received the ball to start the second half, but turnovers began to play a role, a theme of the last two quarters. Taylor Spitty recovered a Tornado fumble to give the ball back to Maryville at the 10:00 mark of the 3rd quarter. Nick Myers immediately capitalized on the opportunity rushing for a 10-yard touchdown at the 7:09 mark of the 3rd. The Rebels converted a two-point conversation to go up 21-14. Alcoa gets the ball on the kickoff and starts an impressive drive down the field, but once again faces a 4th down dillema. The Tornadoes chose to go for it at the 4:44 mark of the 3rd and gets it on a Jaquez Tyson rush up the middle. Alcoa QB Walls completed a pass to Mustafa Anthony on the next play to set up 1st and Goal at the Maryville 6-yard line. Tyson runs it in 2 plays later to tie the game at 21 after the made extra point with 3:09 left in the 3rd.
The Tornadoes took the lead again on a 17-yard field goal to go up 24-21 with 8:07 left to play. However, turnovers would play a key role in the games final quarter, as two consecutive turnovers gave the Rebels an opportunity to seize control of the game. Which they did behind Myers as he led the Rebels down the field and scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to put Maryville back on top 28-24 with 4:43 left in the game. The ensuing kickoff hit an Alcoa player on the fly and the live ball was quickly jumped on by the Rebels at the 18-yard line. This was probably the key play of the game and a tough way to decide the biggest rivalry game in Tennessee. Myers capitalized on the turnover immediately throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Logan Winders to go up 35-24 with 3:48 to play. An interception by Maryville basically sealed the game, but the Rebels added another TD for good measure bringing the final score to 42-24. The Maryville Rebels continued their win streak to the delight of the home crowd.
Rebel Quarterback Nick Myers was named the game’s MVP behind his 125 passing yards and 67 rushing yards to go along with four touchdowns, two on the ground and two coming through the air.
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- Maryville vs. Alcoa 2012