Top-ranked Maryville needs one win to eclipse 100 since the Rebels jumped from Class 4A to 6A in 2009. The Rebels have won 43 straight games and have beaten Rutherford County programs in all seven meetings since the TSSAA created a sixth classification in Division I.
Here are five Rebels to watch Friday night at Shields Stadium when second-ranked Oakland faces the Rebels.
Hopkins, a sophomore quarterback, hasn’t played like a youngster this season. He’s thrived since taking over the reins as the full-time starter.
Hopkins has completed 108 of 153 passes for 1,977 yards with 17 TDs and one interception. He’s a dual-threat quarterback in the Rebels’ read-option spread attack. But his ability to throw the football will drive opposing linebackers crazy as they determine if they should defend the run or pass.
Brock, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide receiver has 55 catches for 1,327 yards and 13 touchdowns. His route running is spot on and whenever Hopkins needs to complete a big pass Brock finds a way to get open.
And Brock has every Maryville receiving record imaginable.
Blackmon, a Class 6A Mr. Football finalist, has over 100 tackles this season. The three-year starter has two sacks, an interception and has forced a fumble.
Blackmon was the 2014 TSSAA Class 6A BlueCross Bowl MVP. He’s a magnet to the ball. He’s always around it making playing for the Rebels.
Hopkins, who is Dylan Hopkins’ older brother, is one of at least three running backs that will get the ball against the Patriots on Friday.
He’s a physical runner and opposing players must do more than arm tackle him if they expect to bring him down. He has 561 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns this season.
Ervin is a speed back for the Rebels. He had 92 yards on nine carries in last week’s 42-7 win over Blackman. For the season, Ervin has 643 yards on 72 carries with seven rushing touchdowns.
Ervin is an extremely elusive back, who will give the Patriots’ defensive line fits with his footwork in the trenches.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.