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PREVIEW: Alcoa vs. Maryville (TN): “Battle of Pistol Creek”

August 26, 2013

ALCOA, TN – Two of the Tennessee’s top programs in the Maryville Rebels and the Alcoa Tornadoes go head-to-head in the annual “Battle of Pistol Creek” on Friday at 7 p.m. (EST) More than 10,000 fans are expected to pack the stands at Alcoa’s Goddard Field as part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

The Rebels are the state’s winningest program since 2000 and have the most TSSAA-recognized state titles (13) and the second-most wins in the state (over 715). They finished 14-1 last season, losing to Whitehaven 36-35 in overtime in the Class 6A state championship and snapping their 43-game winning streak along with a state three-peat.

The Tornadoes’ resume has been nearly as impressive, as they’ve won 12 state titles including a string of seven in a row from 2004-2010. The last two seasons, they’ve been knocked out in the quarterfinals by Christian Academy of Knoxville – by a combined three points. They finished 11-2 last season.

The state’s two most storied programs face off in the “Battle of the Creek,” a rivalry which has been going on since 1927 (it’s also been historically called the “Clash of the Champions”). The two schools are separated by only three miles with the creek running through each. Maryville has won three straight in the series including last season’s 42-24 win in an ESPN2-broadcasted game and holds a 58-23-3 all-time series lead.

Maryville and Alcoa both had nice openers last Friday night. Senior quarterback John Garrett, filling in for graduate Nick Myers (over 3,000 yards and 40 TDs), had 255 total yards and three TDs in the Rebels’ 35-15 win over Webb. The Tornadoes, meanwhile, pitched a shutout, taking out Smith County 38-0.

Maryville lost 15 starters returns senior back Shawn Prevo and senior wide receiver Cody Carroll. Prevo capped off a second straight 1,000-yard season in 2012 (1,442 yards and 22 TDs) and is closing in on the school’s career rushing mark, while Carroll had 810 yards and 13 TDs.

After losing back Ezekial Koko, who accounted for over 1,000 total yards and 10 TDs last season, Alcoa returns senior quarterback Peyton Wall (1,548 yards and 12 TDs) and junior backs Jaquez Tyson (795 yards and 21 TDs) and Malik Love (over 600 total yards and 7 TDs).

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.