Showdown at Shields

Tornadoes visit Bulldogs for anticipated matchup

If you attend one middle school game this season, go see this one.

Alcoa Middle’s undefeated Tornadoes (6-0) travel across to town to battle rival Maryville Middle tonight at Maryville High’s Shields Stadium at 7.

Both teams are loaded with the stars of tomorrow. The Tornadoes are fueled by the breakaway rushing attack of running backs Ezekiel Koko and Jarod Crenshaw. Both look as if they could play freshman ball at their respective high schools already.

Directing the Alcoa offense is quarterback Korey Bach, a cool-headed passer with plenty of targets. Kenny Dean, Mustafa Anthony and Brennan McMurray each big-play receiver. Up front, Alcoa has exceptional size.

The Bulldogs are an air show, complete with a tough-minded running game to keep teams honest. Quarterback Logan Winders is already mastering the spread, an offense Maryville coach Jay Malone installed this season to better ready his players for the scheme the high offers. Receiver T.J. Kimble is a rare, young athlete indeed. Fellow wideouts Landon Hawkins and Brian Coulter can go deep as well. Nic Woodrome handles much of the heavy lifting for Maryville out of the backfield.

The Bulldogs not only run the high school’s offense, they have similar depth. Maryville Middle sports more than 70 players on this year’s roster.

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