|Maryville proves human after all; Milan bid denied |
|Posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 3:56 pm |
|MURFREESBORO — Turns out, Maryville wasn’t unbeatable after all. |
The Rebels’ 74-game winning streak — the longest such active high school run in the nation — came to an end along with their bid for a fifth consecutive Class 4A state championship in a 10-7 loss to Hillsboro Saturday evening.
Maryville, which was gunning for its Tennessee-record 12th state title, had last lost in the semifinals of the 2003 state playoffs. Still, the program has won an unfathomable 113 of its last 115 and 127 of 130 games since the fourth week of the 2000 season.
The Rebels had owned the nation’s longest after South Panola (Miss.) lost Friday in the Class 5A state title game to Meridian, snapping its 89-game streak.
Aside from the Rebels’ stunning defeat, ‘Been there, done that’ was the underlying theme of this weekend’s BlueCross Bowl state football championships.
Three of the five Division I teams crowned titleists added to their respective traditions by putting another gold ball in their trophy cases.
Maryville’s Blount County neighbor, Alcoa, won its fifth consecutive championship in 2A and 10th overall, while Trousdale County (1A) claimed its seventh state title and Murfreesboro Oakland (5A) its third
Alcoa dispatched rural West Tennessee’s lone entry in the BlueCross Bowl, beating Milan 28-14.
The Bulldogs were gunning for their fifth state championship, but saw that bid and hopes for a perfect season spoiled by a Tornado defense that totally stiffed a Milan offense that was averaging more than 40 points-per-game coming in.
Milan managed just 40 total yards and one first down in the first three quarters.
Trousdale County and Knoxville Catholic (3A) each capped perfect seasons with championship game victories, TC beating Jo Byrns 31-14 and Catholic topping Memphis Mitchell 28-18 on Saturday.
Oakland scored with nine seconds left to edge Franklin 20-13.
The following is a recap of the weekend’s championship games.
Trousdale Co. 31, Jo Byrns 14
TC capped its perfect season with its seventh state title — its sixth in Class A — and ruined Jo Byrns’ first-ever trip to the finals
The Yellowjackets’ punishing ground game produced 345 yards and 17 fourth-quarter points to break a 14-all tie.
Tyler Edwards ran for 113 yards, Tacola Seay added 109 and a touchdown and Craig Brown scooted for a pair of scores for the victors, whose last state championship came in 2005 when they routed Union City 52-16.
Kevin Ashabraner ran for 123 yards and a TD for Jo Byrns, which suffered three interceptions and finished its season at 13-2.
Alcoa 28, Milan 14
Milan’s high-powered offense and, more specifically, the Bulldogs’ potent passing game never got untracked against a Tornado defense that shut out eight opponents — including four in a row during one stretch.
Milan QB Justin Coleman, who’d thrown 31 touchdown passes coming in, was just 2-of-11 for four yards and two interceptions. The Bulldogs rushed for 131 yards — most of those on the game’s final two possessions with the outcome already decided.
Christian Coleman blocked a quick-kick and returned it for a TD after Milan trailed 21-0, and Justin Coleman’s two-yard keeper accounted for the other Bulldog score.
Bulldog linebacker Avery Williamson did take some consolation in setting a championship game record with 22 tackles while earning the Defensive MVP.
Knox. Catholic 28, Mitchell 18
Tyler Williamson threw for 134 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score to help the Irish to its first-ever state title.
Williams also picked off a pair of Mitchell passes.
Sophomore Artaves Gibson rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Mitchell, which rebounded from an 0-4 start to the season to reach the title game for the second time in four years.
Hillsboro 10, Maryville 7
Jacob Noe’s 20-yard field goal with 8:52 to play provided the deciding points in a classic defensive battle.
A step quicker and faster, Hillsboro never allowed the Rebels to find any rhythm. In fact, Maryville’s only touchdown came on a double-pass play in the third quarter.
Hillsboro, which led a previous state title game with Maryville during the aforementioned run of Rebel championships, forced an uncharacteristic three turnovers by Maryville.
Oakland 20, Franklin 13
Oakland capped a rags-to-riches story as it went from 3-7 and missing the playoffs last season to a 14-1 state title run this year.
Bass scored all three TDs for the winners, rushing for 111 yards in all, while teammate Precious Valentine ran for 117 yards.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.