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.