Mavericks are moving on

ACHS rallies with shutout football in second half

  • Anderson County’s Bryson Vowell pulls in a touchdown pass early in last Friday night’s TSSAA football play- offs against Seymour. - Ken Leinart

  • Anderson County’s Gavin Noe picks up a block from Lucas May (54). - Ken Leinart

  • Eli Davis catches Seymour’s big bruiser Brendon Harris in the backfield to make a stop. - Ken Leinart

The Anderson County Mavericks advanced to the second round of the TSSAA Class 4A playoffs with a 39-21 win over visiting Seymour last Friday night.

“We didn’t play very well in the first half,” said Davey Gillum, head coach of the Mavericks.

“We played uninspired. We got on them a little at halftime and played a little more capably and physically in the second half. We ran the ball more and we tackled a lot better.”

The Mavs drew first blood when quarterback Cody Miller completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Vowell to cap a nine-play, 65-yard drive. Tyler Radcliff added the extra point to give Anderson County a 7-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The Eagles answered with a nine-play drive that covered 75 yards.

Bruising running back Brendon Harris scored on an 18-yard run and Bennett Caine added the extra point. With 2:19 left in the first quarter the game was tied at 7-7.

Seymour opened the scoring in the second quarter when quarterback Eli Funck threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Crowder. Cain kicked the extra point to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead at the 7:19 mark.

The Mavs responded with a five-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Nick Moog. Josh Velero kicked the extra point to tie the game at 14-14 with 5:40 left in the half.

The Eagles were not satisfied to carry a tie into the break, and put together a 48-yard scoring drive that drained the clock. Funck connected with Ryan Lodari for a 13-yard touchdown, and Cain booted the extra point to give Seymour a 21-14 halftime lead.

Those were the last points they scored for the season.

Anderson County opened the second half with a scoring drive that ended with an old-school-style over-the-top two-yard touchdown dive by Gavin Noe. The extra-point attempt failed, but the Mavericks trimmed the Seymour advantage to 21-20 with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter.

After the defense stopped the Eagles again, the Mavs got the ball back and drove 44 yards for the score with Noe again providing the honors on a one-yard run.

The two-point conversion attempt failed but the Mavs regained the lead at 26-21 with 1:38 left in the third quarter.

Both teams traded field position until late in the fourth quarter when Moog scored on a two-yard run. Velero kicked the extra point to extend the lead to 33-21 with 3:47 left.

Seconds later, Garrison Terry intercepted a pass and returned it 31 yards for the exclamation-point score.

The extra-point attempt failed, but the Mavs finished with the 39-21 win.

Noe led the Mavs with 184 yards rushing on 28 carries with two touchdowns. Moog added 51 yards on 16 carries with two scores.

Miller finished 12-20 for 78 yards passing, and a touchdown.

Vowell led Anderson County receivers with seven catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Zach Shannon led Anderson County with 10 total tackles, while Noe and Eli Davis each had nine tackles.

The Mavericks will host Class 4A power and Region 1 runner-up Elizabethton Friday night at 7 p.m.