Mavs take control of Region 2-4A

ACHS grinds out 31-28 win at South-Doyle

  • Anderson County’s Walker Martinez lets the pigskin fly against South Doyle Friday night, getting good protection from Eli Nelson (52) and Gavin Noe. - Ricky Williams

  • Anderson County’s Zach Shannon (30) and Christian Young shut down the South Doyle offense on this play. The Mavericks’ defense held the Cherokees to 70 yards on the ground in the Region 2-4A battle - Ricky Williams

The Anderson County Mavericks were able to secure a region football win at South Doyle Friday night by a score of 31-28.

“This was a huge win,” Anderson County Coach Davey Gillum said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids, but we’re getting better. We’ve been our worst enemies. We’ve had a lead in each game.

“Our goal is the region title, and you never know how things will play out. But we’ve already played the two top teams in the region and beat them,” he said.

Things got off to a shaky start for the Mavs when South Doyle’s Jamichael Ham intercepted a Mavericks pass and returned it 20 yards for a score.

Grant Bush added the extra point and the Cherokees led 7-0 with 8:26 remaining in the first quarter.

The Mavs responded just minutes later as Walker Martinez found Braden Miller for a 41-yard touchdown strike. The Chris Nelson kick tied the game at 7-7 with 3:11 left in the opening frame.

Midway through the second quarter, South Doyle put together a drive that was capped by a five-yard touchdown run by Shawn Gary.

Bush kicked the PAT and the Cherokees reclaimed the lead at 14-7 with 8:31 remaining in the first half.

The Mavericks answered with a 22-yard field goal by Nelson to cut the South Doyle lead to 14-10 at the 4:45 mark of the second quarter.

The Cherokees answered with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Nick Martin to Almaron Greer. Bush booted the extra point to make it 21-10 with 1:58 left in the first half.

Undeterred, the Mavs battled back down the field and Gavin Noe scored on a 15-yard run.

Nelson added the PAT to make the halftime score 21-17 in favor of the home team.

Anderson County got its first lead of the game in the second half when Martinez hooked up with Bryson Vowell for a 21-yard touchdown pass.

Nelson added the extra point and the Mavericks led 24-21 at the 9:41 mark of the third quarter.

The back and forth continued as the Cherokees ended the quarter with a 17-yard touchdown by Gary. Bush kicked South Doyle into a 28-24 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Mavericks took over the game in the fourth quarter. Noe scored on a one-yard run with 6:23 left. Nelson’s PAT extended the Anderson County lead to 31-28.

The Mavericks’ defense shut the Cherokees down the rest of the way.

“Our defense played well all night,” Gillum said. “I don’t think they had a scoring drive.

“We left our DBs on an island and they got a couple of one-on-ones for quick strikes and they [South Doyle] had a pick six for another touchdown. The defense played really well and tackled well,” he said.

Noe led with 136 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 31 carries. Nick Moog added 84 yards on 11 carries.

Martinez completed 11 of 20 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

Vowell led Anderson County with three receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Miller had two receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. Eli Braden added two receptions for 33 yards.

Defensively, Caleb Livinston led the Mavs with eight tackles. Zach Shannon had seven tackles and two quarterback sacks, while Moog had seven tackles and one quarterback sack. Eli Nelson and Eli Davis each had six tackles. Andrew Meier had five tackles, two quarterback sacks, and a fumble recovery.

Anderson County moves to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in Region 2 4-A play.

The Mavs return to action Friday night when they travel to Elizabethton.