Webb big test for Bulldogs

Maryville Middle eighth-grader T.J. Kimble is off to a fast start this season. The Bulldogs host unbeaten Webb School of Knoxville tonight at Maryville High’s Shields Stadium.

Photo by LuAnne Jackson

Maryville Middle eighth-grader T.J. Kimble is off to a fast start this season. The Bulldogs host unbeaten Webb School of Knoxville tonight at Maryville High’s Shields Stadium.

T.J. Kimble has really been on the move this season.

The Maryville Middle School eighth-grader has accounted for eight Bulldogs touchdown — four rushing, four receiving — through three games. The Bulldog flyer also starts at free safety and is reputed to be a big hitter.

Maryville (2-1) will need a big game from Kimble and the rest of the Bulldogs to slow a talented Webb School of Knoxville team in the Blount Today Middle School Game of the Week tonight at Maryville High’s Shield Stadium at 7 p.m.

“I think they’re going to be the biggest challenge we’ve had speed-wise,” Bulldog coach Jay Malone said. “They run the wing-T to perfection.”

The Bulldogs have really taken to the spread offense Malone installed this season. Quarterback Logan Winders looks a natural out of the shotgun. Receivers Brian Coulter, Landon Hawkins and Kimble can all go deep. Lineman Tim Koons highlights a really big line that gives Winders time to throw.

With Webb (3-0) looking to control the ball, it’s likely to be close. Not to worry, though. The Bulldogs have a kicker.

With each game, Maryville High School place-kicker Zach Sharp makes a bigger and bigger name for himself. Bulldog place-kicker Caden Ryding is “Zach Sharp Jr.,” Malone said.

Ryding’s kicking coach is Maryville High assistant soccer coach Andy Kerr, himself a former place-kicker on the high school and college level. Ryding has made good on six of his nine point-after tries this season, a very rare thing for a middle schooler. Instead of extra points, think 20-yard field goals.

Maybe it won’t come down to kicks, though. Maybe Kimble will just light ‘em up.

Should be a good one.

The rest of tonight’s schedule includes:

Alcoa at Carpenters, 7 p.m.

Union Grove at Sevier County, 7 p.m.

Eagleton at Pigeon Forge, 6 p.m.

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