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Rebels roll past Hilltoppers in second-round matchup

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Nov 9, 2018 at 10:42 PM

MARYVILLE—The road to the TSSAA Class 6A state football championship still goes through Maryville.

The defending state champion Rebels had 341 yards of total offense and more than doubled Science Hill's time of possession in a 42-7 win over the Hilltoppers in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs at Jim Renfro Field.

It offset a productive performance by Science Hill running back Chris Thomas, who ended with 23 carries for 140 yards — including a long run of 51 yards. It was a typical effort for the Hilltoppers (6-6), who won four of their last five games.

"I'm proud of these kids and the perseverance they had," Science Hill coach Stacy Carter said. "They came back and won the home playoff game last week. There were a lot of times this year they could have cashed it in and they did not. I hate it had to end like this."

The Hilltoppers stopped the Rebels on the opening possession, but fumbled on their own opening possession — which got the ball rolling for Maryville (11-1).

Tre Hodge scored on a 3-yard touchdown for the game's first score. The Rebels added a 9-yard touchdown run from A.J. Davis later in the first quarter and a 24-yard run by Bryson Teffeteller in the second quarter.

Science Hill was moving down the field on the next drive when Thomas broke free on a 51-yard run.

After it ended, the 'Toppers were penalized for a personal foul. Carter was then flagged for the two unsportsmanlike penalties and ejected from the game.

With the field position completely reversed, the Hilltoppers were forced to punt. It led to Hodge scoring on a 1-yard run with just 26 seconds left in the half for a 28-0 Rebels lead.

The Rebels controlled the third quarter with their final two scores, a 36-yard pass from Cade Chambers to Davis and a 37-yard touchdown run by Parker McGill.

Science Hill quarterback A.J. Stewart struggled much of the night, ending 4 of 13 passing for 71 yards. However, he and the Hilltopper offense ended their season on a high note, as he led a 59-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Clifton Maxwell.

"It's a good way for them to end," Carter said. "We have a lot of good kids. I just hated to see the season end like this."

Other leaders for Science Hill included punter Grant Wilson, who ended with a 40-yard average despite having to retrieve the ball twice in the end zone. He had a long punt of 57 yards with no return. Drew Morrison had 25 rushing and 14 receiving yards.

Shawn Austin led the defense with nine tackles, while Morrison had seven tackles and Josh Santiago ended with five tackles. Thomas ended his season with 1,522 rushing yards.

Maryville will host Farragut in next week’s quarterfinals.

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