Mavericks advance with win over Grizzlies
The Anderson County Mavericks extended their perfect season to 11-0 with a 65-40 win over visiting Grainger last Friday evening.
The win also advanced the Mavericks to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Grizzlies pulled a minor upset when they scored first. The score was set up by a 58-yard run by Jacob Bunch. Preston Owens ran it in from 13 yards out.
Bunch ran in the two-point conversion to give Grainger an 8-0 lead with 9:34 left in the first quarter.
The Mavericks picked up a first down on the following drive but had to punt the ball away.
The Anderson County defense held as Russell Lindsay sacked quarterback Zac Courter to force a Grizzlies’ kick.
The Mavericks responded with a quick strike as Mason Phillips rambled 46 yards for a touchdown.
Clayton Utley kicked the extra point to trim the Grainger lead to to 8-7 with 5:37 remaining in the first quarter.
The Mavericks defense then forced a quick three and out and the offense took over on its own 31-yard line following the punt.
After a nice gain by Ryan Moog was erased by a holding penalty, quarterback Stanton Martin took matters into his own hands - or more accurately, legs - and ran 60 yards to set up a first down at the Grainger 12-yard line line. On the next play Martin weaved his way through the secondary for the 12-yard touchdown run.
Utley kicked the extra point to give Anderson County a 14-8 lead with 3:00 left in the opening quarter.
Following a touchback on the ensuing kick-off, the Grizzlies took over on their own 20-yard line - that was the high-point of the possession. Phillips dropped Bunch for a two-yard loss on first down. Thomas Roberts tackled the ball carrier for a four-yard loss on second down. Moog broke through and stopped Bunch for a three-yard loss.
Grainger attempted a punt on fourth and 19 from its own 11 but Moog slipped through the line again. He blocked the punt, which skittered through the end zone and out of bounds, resulting in a safety.
With 51 seconds left in the first quarter, the Mavericks led 16-8 and the Grizzlies kicked the ball back to Anderson County.
Six plays and 43 yards later, Phillips plunged into the end zone from two yards out.
Utley added the PAT to give the Mavericks a 23-8 lead with 11:57 remaining in the second quarter.
The Anderson County defense again forced a three and out to give the Mavericks a first down at their own 33-yard line following the punt.
Four plays later, Martin raced 44-yards for a touchdown.
Utley’s extra point made it 30-8 in favor of Anderson County with 8:22 left in the half.
If anyone thought the team from Rutledge would fold, they were wrong. The Grizzlies answered with a six-play, 80-yard drive, which ended with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Courter to Owens.
Courter ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Mavericks’ lead to 30-16 with 5:30 remaining in the half.
On the following drive, Martin connected with Dalton Wilson for a 40-yard gain. Phillips then scored on a seven-yard run.
Utley added the PAT to extend the Anderson County lead to 37-16 with 4:45 left in the half.
With Grainger pinned back on its own 10-yard line, Bunch ripped through the Mavericks’ secondary and scored on a 90-yard run.
He then ran in the two-point conversion to reduce the Anderson County lead to 37-24 with 4:25 remaining in the half.
Wilson returned the ensuing kick-off 30 yards to give the Mavericks a first down at the Grainger 35-yard line.
On the very next play Phillips scored on 35-yard run.
Utley added the extra point to push the Anderson County lead to 44-24 with 4:04 left in the half.
Each team traded punts with the Grizzlies getting the ball back with 1:26 on the clock. They went 56 yards in seven plays. They scored with no time on the clock when Reagan Wiser pulled in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Courter.
Bunch ran in the two-point conversion to make it a 44-32 Anderson County advantage at the half.
The Mavericks opened the second half with a four-play, 49-yard drive that was capped with a five-yard touchdown pass from Martin to Wilson.
Utley kicked the PAT to push the Anderson County lead to 51-32 with 11:05 left in the third quarter.
Grainger answered with a time consuming drive that covered 54 yards in 12 plays. They scored when Bunch pulled in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Courter.
Courter ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Mavericks lead to 51-40 with 4:12 left in the third quarter.
After each team exchanged possessions, the Mavericks opened the fourth quarter with a five-play, 76-yard drive.
Phillips scored on a three-yard run.
Utley kicked the extra point and the Mavericks lead 58-40 with 10:49 remaining in the game.
The Grizzlies never threatened again but Anderson County added a late touchdown on a 19-yard run by Moog.
Utley kicked the final point of the game to make the final 65-40.
“We’ve got the best quarterback in the state of Tennessee. Our O-line has been progressively getting better all season. We’ve got two or three of the best running backs around. Our receiver corps is rock solid. We have a lot of guys on offense,” said Davey Gillum, head coach of the Mavericks.
“Our defense has played well all season. We gave up almost as many points tonight as we have all season [total]. I’m going to credit their [Grainger] running back Jacob Bunch for that. He’s a great football player and their coaches did a good job,” Gillum said.
Phillips finished with 247 yards and five touchdowns on 17 carries. He averaged 14.5 yards per carry.
Martin went 10-18 for 160 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Defensively, Andrew Hatmaker led the Mavericks with 12 tackles.
Moog had 10 tackles, a quarterback sack, and a blocked punt for a safety while Roberts had nine tackles and Chris Powell had eight tackles.
Lindsay and Trey Noe had two sacks each while Phillips, Anthony Barbera, Dalton Daugherty, and Isaiah Wallace each had a sack to give Anderson County nine quarterback sacks.
The Mavericks will host Elizabethton on Friday. The Fighting Cyclones crushed Sequoyah 62-35 on Friday to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
The winner will face the winner of the Chattanooga Central-Greeneville game on Nov. 17.
Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Friday.
First downs 17 24
Rushing yds. 262 463
Passing yds. 113 160
Comp/att/int 10-15-0 10-18-1
Total yds. 375 623
Turnovers 0 1
Penalties 5-34 10-91
Time of poss. 32:07 15:53