By David Klein

In a Class 6A State Quarterfinal matchup at Maryville, the Maryville Rebels overcame a sluggish start on offense and used tough, opportunistic defense to defeat the Farragut Admirals 26-10. Maryville was balanced on offense as it ran for 184 yards and passed for 221 yards. Quarterbacks Braden Carnes and Cade Chambers each took turns leading touchdown drives for the Rebels, but the story of the game was the Maryville defense as it limited Farragut to 208 total yards.

“Defensively we just played hard,” Maryville Head Coach Derek Hunt said. “We just got after them. Farragut is so good offensively. They’re very well coached. We knew it was going to be somewhat of a bend but don’t break effort. They’re going to make plays. They’re going to get first downs but our motto was when they get across the 50, buckle up, bear down.”

Maryville used that stout defense to get a turnover on downs after kicker Jack Cone kicked a 27-yard field goal to take a 3-0 Rebel lead. The defense then turned into offense as Maryville took a 10-0 lead on a Tee Hodge 2-yard touchdown run.

Defense again came up big for Maryville as the Rebels held the Admirals out of the end zone when Farragut drove to the Rebel 12-yard line.  The Admirals had to settle for a Daniel Bethel 29-yard field goal, and it would be the Admirals’ only points till late in the fourth quarter.

Maryville created its first turnover of the game when DaVon Kimble intercepted Admirals’ quarterback Gavin Wilkinson with 1:15 left in the first half. Maryville went right down the field and Cone kicked a 40-yard field goal at the gun for a 13-3 lead.

Leading 13-3 at the half, Maryville used a third quarter interception by senior defensive back Michael Jones to spur them to a big offensive second half. Following the interception, the Rebels drove the ball from the Farragut 45 to a 1st-and-goal at the Admiral 6-yard line. Two plays later, Chambers found Kimble for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 6:48 left in the third quarter. The score put the Rebels up 20-3.

Speaking about Jones’ interception, Kimble said, “We knew at this point they were going to try to throw the ball downfield. We tried to limit them. We had turnovers left and right. Mike Jones, that really helped us be successful in the game. At the end of the day we got a dub (win).”

Not content with just Kimble’s touchdown, Carnes lofted a 56-yard bomb to Ashton Maples who got to the 1-yard line on Maryville’s next possession. Bryson Teffeteller ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the next play to put Maryville up 26-3 with 2:16 left in the third quarter.

“I thought Ashton made a great catch,” Hunt said. “He dropped one earlier in the game so for him to come back and make that big play I thought was huge and I was really proud of him.”

Farragut got a late touchdown on Wilkinson’s 1-yard quarterback sneak to leave the final score at 26-10 Maryville.

Maryville travels to Oakland High School in Murfreesboro Friday in a 6A state semifinal game. Maryville beat Oakland earlier in the season 24-21 at Maryville.

Kimble praised the Rebel coaching staff. “I know this whole team trusts Coach Hunt,” he said. “We love our offensive coaching staff. We trust what they do offensively. This is the quarterfinals. We might have played bad offensively but at the end of the day we survived and advanced.”