Watch the video above for a behind the scenes look at Maryville’s thrilling one-point overtime victory over Ravenwood in the 6A state title game.
We mic’d up 11-time state champion head coach George Quarles for the game.
Quarles remained calm throughout the game, even when Maryville trailed 28-7 in the first quarter.
The Rebels came back, scoring 13 points in the second quarter to go into the locker room at half down 28-20.
“Great job of getting back in the game, great job of getting back in the game. Keep battling. This will be one you can talk about if you keep coming back,” Quarles told his team in the locker room.
Austin Ensley found tight end Bryce Miller in the endzone to bring the Rebels within two and then connected with Miller again for the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Ensley’s pass on the two-point conversion was almost too short for a wide open Miller to make the grab. That prompted this exchange between Quarles and Ensley.
Quarles: “Was he too open for ya?”
Ensley: “I tried to throw it and then I just lost the ball but as long as I got it up, I’m fine.”
Quarles: “He’s wide open, just throw it to him. Good job.”
The game came down to a Ravenwood field goal attempt with four seconds left and the score tied at 28.
Quarles called a timeout just before Ravenwood could attempt the field goal. During the break he told his team:
“Hey guys, remember. Remember, when we block it. When you block it, pick it up and score with it. Okay?”
Quarles then went over to the ref to declare his timeout intentions for the next play.
“I’m not gonna call another one, okay? I’m just gonna look like I’m going too, okay? I want them to think I am but we’re not going to,” Quarles said.
Maryville linebacker T.D. Blackmon then blocked the field goal to send the game to overtime.
Quarles was trying to decide which side of the field he wanted to play the overtime period on if Maryville were to lose the coin toss. He originally wanted to play on the south side because the wind was blowing in that direction. Then superstition came into play.
“I know this is stupid,” Quarles said. “If we lose the toss and we have to play offense, I’m almost thinking just play down here (north endzone). Just cause we’ve scored down here a bunch of times and they haven’t scored any down there. I know that’s stupid. Of course the last overtime we played here we played over there and we lost…. Let’s go down here. Let’s do it down here (south endzone).”
Maryville lost a state championship to Whitehaven 36-35 in overtime in 2012. That overtime period was played on the north end of the field.
After losing the toss, the Rebels took the ball first from the 10 yard line on the south end. Tyler Vaught scored from three yards out on second down.
Quarles knew Ravenwood would go for two if they scored but decided to kick the extra point and take his chances.
With Maryville up 35-28, Ravenwood’s Cole Brown hit Austin Percy for a touchdown on Ravenwood’s first play.
The Raptors did indeed go for two but T.D. Blackmon stepped up once again and picked off a pass intended for future Georgia Bulldog Van Jefferson to seal Maryville’s 15th state championship victory.