The No. 2-ranked Anderson County Mavericks had to overcome a 10-0 deficit on the way to their come-from-behind 33-20 football victory at William Blount last Friday.
The host Governors took advantage of a Maverick fumble and interception on AC’s first two possessions to score a touchdown and field goal to build the 10-0 advantage into the 10-minute mark of the second quarter. AC eventually regained its composure to score twice for a 14-10 lead. The Mavs did not trail from that point forward as they finished the night with 500 yards of total offense to run their record to 2-0.
“We were flat at the start,” said Mavericks Coach Davey Gillum. “This was their (William Blount’s) Homecoming game and they came prepared to play. We found early we were in a dogfight and we had to bare down, which we did. We may be ranked second, but we have a lot of work to do to improve.”
The Mavs were driving deep into Blount territory on their opening possession when a fumble was recovered by the Governors in the end zone. William Blount responded with an 80-yard scoring drive finishing with a 20-yard touchdown pass.
AC’s second turnover occurred on the Mavs’ next possession via an interception. Starting from the AC 45, Blount got as far as the Mav 12 before the latter’s defense forced the Govs to settle for a 29-yard field goal.
The Mavs began their comeback on the next possession as they were able to move downfield with an assist from two unsportsmanlike-penalty calls against the Govs. Marquise Gallahar ran the ball in from the three-yard line for the touchdown. Steve Wagner’s extra point brought the difference to 10-7.
After AC forced Blount to punt, the Mavs started the next drive from their 29. Quarterback Stanton Martin was forced to scramble and evade several tackles before he threw long to Ryan Moog as he caught the ball and beat the defender to the end zone with 1:45 to go before halftime. Wagner’s extra point gave the Mavs their 14-10 lead.
Starting from its 23, Blount drove downfield quickly before settling for a 42-yard field goal with two seconds remaining before halftime.
Starting from the AC 20 to start the second half, Martin engineered a drive culminating when he connected with Michael Carroll in the end zone for a 34-yard scoring pass. Wagner’s kick increased the lead to 21-13.
Blount put a drive together on the next possession, which was helped by a controversial pass-interference call against the Mavs. AC’s defense forced a field-goal try, but the kick was wide.
AC came back as Martin passed to Moog, who evaded several tacklers and streaked along the sideline to the end zone for six points at the 1:19 mark of the third quarter. The kick failed as the score held at 27-13.
After Blount was forced to punt to start the final quarter, the Mavs had another drive going before losing possession via another fumble at their own 44. Blount could not advance the ball in three plays and was forced to punt with the ball going out of bounds at the AC one-yard line.
The Mavs began a 99-scoring drive, finishing when Martin threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Logan Berry. The kick was wide as the score stayed at 33-13 with 5:38 remaining.
Blount scored about a minute later with a 32-yard TD pass as the extra point provided the final count at 33-20.
Martin completed 24 of 30 passes for 319 yards with four touchdowns. Moog caught seven of those passes for 124 yards and two TDS. Carroll made eight receptions for 95 yards and one TD. Gallahar was AC’s leading rusher with 168 yards on 22 carries and the TD.
The Mavs outgained the Govs in total offense 500 yards to 334.
Defensively, Stone Cummins was AC’s leading tackler with 10. Joshua Miller followed with eight while Trey Noe ended the night with seven.
The Mavs open their region schedule Friday when they visit Hixon in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Their next home game will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 against cross-county rival Clinton.
First downs 23 20
Rush yds. 181 56
Pass yds. 319 278
Total yds. 500 334
Comp/att/int 24-30-1 18-44-0
Turnovers 3 0
Penalties 8-86 5-57
Time of poss. 19:37 25:31