By Todd Lamberth
Maryville snapped their two-year title drought on Friday night with a 42-7 win over Cane Ridge in the class 6A state championship game.
After missing out on the Blue Cross Bowl a year ago, Maryville returned with an impressive effort in first-year coach Derek Hunt’s first ever attempt.
On the other side, head coach Eddie Woods and his Ravens were making their first even trip to the Blue Cross Bowl in the programs just ninth ever season.
The two sides traded punts on their opening possessions to start the game. On their second possession, Cane Ridge was able to get things going, driving into Rebel territory. That came to an end, however, when Cane Ridge quarterback Korey Andrews was intercepted by Byron Brown with nothing but green in front of him, returning it 77-yards for the opening score of the game.
From that point, the Rebels never looked back on their way to the program’s 16th state championship.
The Rebels mounted a 21-0 lead when a backward pass from Andrews went unclaimed and Michael Buchanan scooped it up and ran it in from seven yards out and a 28-0 lead.
The Ravens kept from being shutout as they were able to put a drive together in the final minutes. The drive ended as Andrews was able to connect with Jared McCray for a 15-yard touchdown.
Despite the loss, Cane Ridge’s junior running back Devon Starling was impressive. Starling carried the ball 20 times for 116 yards on the night.
Dylan Hopkins came away with offensive MVP honors for the Rebels. The UAB commit went 11-18 passing for 121 yards and a score, adding 90 more yards on the ground on just eight carries.