Anderson County High School’s football Mavericks’ quest for a state title went smoothly Friday night, Nov. 6.
The Mavericks hosted Grainger for the first round of the state playoffs, winning 49-8 to proceed to the next round.
Head Coach David Gillum doted on the Maverick offense.
“Offensively, I thought we did as good as we could,” he said. “The O-line dominated again and our receivers made plays. Bryson Vowell had a big night, and Josh Miller had a good night. [Miller] has had an amazing season, an all-state caliber season. Gavin Noe really dominated the football game with that offensive line, and he had some big runs that helped us take control of that game early. That’s what we need in these playoff games.”
The Mavs took an early lead with a 28-yard pass to Bryson Vowell from Walker Martinez for the first touchdown of the game, following that with two successive touchdowns in less than an in-game minute, the first from a 24-yard run by Gavin Noe and the second from another pass by Martinez, this time to Zach Shannon, putting the Mavs up 21-0 to end the first quarter.
Anderson County scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter, two from rushes by Gavin Noe, and the third from a pass to Bryson Vowell. This put the Mavs up 35-0 going into the third quarter, where Grainger managed to get on the board halfway through the third. The final touchdown came from a phenomenal 44-yard pass from Stone Hatmaker to Braden Miller, putting the Mavs up 49-8 for the final score.
The Mavs passed for 193 yards to Grainger’s 28, more than making up for losing the rushing game to Grainger.
Anderson County rushed for 173 yards to Grainger’s 185. AC achieved 173 yards over 18 attempts, while Grainger’s 185 was across 49 attempts, averaging them only 3.8 yards a play. Anderson County finished with a total of 366 yards.
The game was remarkably clean, with only seven penalties total.
Grainger County had four penalties that cost the team 52 yards. Anderson County’s three penalties cost 32 yards.
There was a sharp difference in possession times by both teams, with Grainger County holding the ball for 34:13 to Anderson County’s 16:16.
That boils down to Anderson County’s seven touchdowns taking just over two in-game minutes apiece.
Gavin Noe, in a recurring theme for this season, led the Mavericks on rushes with 170 yards gained and three touchdowns, averaging 15 yards per rush.
The closest to him was Garrison Terry, who carried the ball for seven yards.
Other rushers for the night included Tate Russell, Sean Hill, Josh Miller, and Andrew Meier, with Meier being the only person besides Noe to have more than one rush attempt.
Martinez threw for 144 yards and three touchdowns across 13 passing attempts, finishing with nine completions.
Stone Hatmaker threw for 49 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter.
On the receiving end, Bryson Vowell had a standout night with four receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns, beating Josh Miller’s two receptions for 35 yards.
Braden Miller, Zach Shannon, Garrison Terry and Gavin Noe all finished with one reception each.
On defense, Stone Cummins separated himself from the pack with 13 total tackles, including three solos and two tackles for a loss.
Behind him, Eli Davis and Zach Shannon finished with seven tackles (Davis with three solo and Shannon with two), while Bull Shipley finished with seven tackles.
Gillum said the whole crew dominated on defense.
“Really, everybody played so well that it’s hard to single people out, but Russ Lindsay and Maxx Oglesby and Stone Hatmaker and Bull Shippley, that whole front seven dominated,” he said. “Bull Shippley played really well. Their defense isn’t really flashy, but they’re hard to get off the field, and our guys did a great job getting them off the field in three plays and getting the ball back to the offense.”