COOKEVILLE- A night after seeing Blount county rival Alcoa win their 12th state championship, Maryville used a gutsy performance from Freshman running back Shawn Prevo who rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns as the Rebels nipped Smyrna 23-21 to win the Class 6A state title.
It looked as though Smyrna might take the lead down 23-21 as the Bulldogs behind the running of Offensive MVP Jeremiah Bryson engineered a late drive that saw Smyrna get to the Maryville 11 yard line.
After a false start penalty backed Smyrna up five yards, Maryville safety Stian Romberg made the biggest play of his career by blocking the attempt that included a low snap.
The Rebels (14-1) then feed Prevo to help run out the clock and give coach George Quarles his seventh eight title as coach of Maryville.
The 12 state titles won by Maryville and Alcoa are the most in TSSAA history.
The Rebels went up by nine as their defense as junior defensive end Jacob Watson, the Defensive MVP tackled Bryson in the end zone to give the Rebels a 23-14 lead.
Smyrna didn’t flinch as junior running back Demarcus St. Cloud scored from two yards out to cut the lead to 23-21.
The Bulldog touchdown set up by a Maryville fumble by third string sophomore quarterback Nick Myers, who was forced into action by an injury to starter Patton Robinette.
Smyrna scored on the first possession of the game as Bryson busted a run and scooted 37 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
Maryville tied the game on their second possession as Maryville freshman running back Shawn Prevo scored from a yard out to tie it at 7-7.
Smyrna responded by marching 80 yards in 15 plays taking 7:49 off the clock as Bryson scored his second touchdown from a yard out to give Smyrna the lead at 14-7
Maryville then responded to tie the game at 14 as Prevo scored his second touchdown of the game as he scored from 10 yards out.
Maryville got a turnover on Smyrna’s next possession as quarterback Steve Wilson was intercepted by Brandon Johns on 3rd and 7 and Johns returned it to the Smyrna 32 yard line.
The Rebels cashed in on a touchdown five plays later as Robinette rolled right and threw back left to a wide open Clarence Langley for a 21 yard touchdown pass giving them a 21-14 lead with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.