Friday Night Preview: Bearden at Maryville

What: Class 6A quarterfinal

When: Friday

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Records: Maryville (11-1), Bearden (9-3)

The players: Everyone went to see Devrin Young last time, and Rebel freshman Shawn Prevo stole the show. Young, a Bulldog senior and University of Tennessee commitment, amassed 80 yards on 16 carries as the Rebel defense hounded his every step. Prevo pumped in four rushing touchdowns and 98 yards. Maryville junior and backfield mate Jacob West produced the fifth Rebel score as the top-ranked Rebels took control of the district race with a 34-14 win. West and Prevo were never better in pacing Maryville on a 19-play, eight-minute drive beginning late in the third, culminating in the latter’s fourth score and a 28-14 lead. A Stian Romberg interception and a Jay Yoakum fumble recovery sealed Bearden’s fate in the closing minutes.

The Rebels ran the ball 58 times. You can chew up close to 30 minutes of scoreboard clock like that. Bearden quarterback Kyle Riemer flashed an impressive throwing arm to keep the Bulldogs within striking distance, delivering touchdown throws to Young and wide out Stefon Stephens. Beating the Rebels with the passing game in a game of this magnitude is unlikely, though.

How it goes down: The problem with focusing on Prevo and West to force the Rebels to give up the ball is neither is Maryville’s top ball carrier. Junior quarterback Patton Robinette has collected more yardage than either running the option. Senior running back Robby Pedersen has added a fourth option the second half of the season. Throw in sizzling numbers for Robinette passing - better than 1,300 yards, 17 touchdowns, no interceptions - and the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them, but then so do the Rebels.

Just because Young has had little success against the Rebels in recent meetings doesn’t mean he’s not capable. There’s a reason Tennessee offered him that scholarship. The Mr. Football finalist may or may not have a big night on the ground, but he’s infinitely more dangerous as a component in the Bulldog passing game. Maryville, though, just may have the best defensive secondary in the state.

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