The Maryville College football used a 465 yard offensive attack and a stingy defense to earn a win in their season opener by the score of 43-17 over Berry College.
The Fighting Scots shot out of the blocks quickly with a defense that forced a three-and-out Viking possession. On Maryville's first play from scrimmage junior running back Trenton Shuler exploded through the line and past the secondary for an 84-yard touchdown dash. The conversion failed and MC led 6-0 with 13-seconds of possession.
MC's LaDarius Jordan stopped a pair of Berry drives with two interceptions setting up a 32-yard field goal by Bennett with 2:25 left in the first quarter.
The Scots took a 16-0 lead into the second quarter.
At the 8:04 mark in the second period, Berry took over on the MC 40. The Vikings drove 25-yards on six-plays before Mitchell Blanchard drilled a 32-yard field goal for the visitor's first points.
Maryville's Mario Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 27-yards. Pittenger quickly found Williams on the fourth play from scrimmage with a 58-yard touchdown pass, scoring in only 1:30. Bennett's kick made the score 23-3.
Just before the half, MC's Nick Myers led the squad for a 59-yard scoring drive on seven plays. Michael Smith hauled in a Myers pass for a 33-yard TD via the air. Bennett's kick finished the scoring of the first half.
The Scots entered the locker room with a 30-3 advantage.
Maryville took the second half kickoff and advanced 77 yards on six plays. Evan Pittenger rushed for 17 yards early in the drive and concluded the scoring possession with a 21-yard scoring dash after diving into the end zone. Bennett's kick gave the Scots a 37-3 lead.
As the third quarter wound down, Berry's Dale Jackson led the Vikings on a 10-play, 74-yard scoring drive that featured a 21-yard run by Jackson. The quarterback found Chris Lilly in the end zone for a 19-yard TD pass. Blanchard's kick made the score 37-10.
Berry's Tate Adcock took over behind center in the final quarter and marched the Vikings 38 yards after a Chaz Rokins fumble. Adcock found Terrell Blakesleay for his only catch of the day for a 26-yard touchdown strike. Blanchard's kick cut the Maryville lead to 37-17.
The Scots' final score came when Adcock was driving the Vikings. Maryville's Gabe Johnson stepped in from of a pass and bolted 80-yards for MC's final score. The conversion kick failed giving MC the 43-17 victory.
Berry's Dale Jackson finished 19-for-40 for 146 yards via the air. The Vikings had 107 total yards on the ground led by Austin Lowe's 32 yards. On defense, Evan Breakspear tallied five solo stops and eight total tackles. Matt Farinella added seven total tackles.
Maryville's Evan Pittenger was 11-for18 passing on the day for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran for 56 yards on six carries. Trenton Shuler dashed for 132 yards on 17 carries, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Mario Williams, Michael Smith, and Stevorius Kimball collectively hauled in eight passes for 157 reception yards combined. Micah Smith paced the defense with six solo tackles and ten total stops. Christopher McKenzie and Jordan McCullough added 15 tackles combined. LaDararius Jordan recorded a pair of interceptions for 34 return yards while Gabe Johnson had a pick for an 80-yard score.
Berry falls to 0-1 on the season while Maryville (1-0) will prepare for a short week before they challenge East Tennessee State University on Thursday, September 10th. Kick-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Johnson City's Kermit Tipton Stadium and Steve Spurrier Field.