The Maryville College football team capitalized on their best offensive performance of the season to defeat Methodist University 26-24 on Saturday on Maryville's Honaker Field.
Quarterback Tim Conner connected with eight different receivers going 12-for-24 via the air for 173 yards. The Scots also had eight different runners attack the Monarch line en route to 144 yards on the ground. MC's 345 total offensive yards was a collective team effort.
The Scots (1-4, 1-1 USA South) got on the scoreboard on their first possession. A penalty and strong defensive surge gave Maryville the ball on Methodist's 40 yard line. A pass to Wesley Idlette and a run by Blake Williams put MC within striking distance. Conner hit receiver Ryan Roach in the end zone for an 18 yard scoring strike for an early Scots advantage. Andrew Noboa's kick was blocked and MC took the early 6-0 lead.
The Scots defense stalled another Monarch drive and looked to march for another score. Freshman quarterback Melvin Burston led this drive with completions to Idlette and Williams and 18 personal rushing yards. On third and ten from Methodist's 17 yard line Burston tossed a strike to senior Zach Bledsoe for a score with 3:09 left in the first quarter. This 13 play, 83 yard drive took just under five minutes to hit paydirt. Noboa's kick split the uprights and Maryville led 13-0.
As the first quarter began to wind down, Methodist used a 19 yard pass from Max Reber to Johntavis Mallary and a 25 yard strike to Matthew Phifer to threaten MC's goal line. As the second quarter began Reber connected to a diving Nathan Kindley from 13 yards away for the Monarch's first touchdown. Tyler Mosko's kick was good and the score stood at 13-7 with 14:00 left in the second quarter.
Three Maryville fumbles in the second stanza put the Monarchs in numerous scoring opportunities, but MC's defense rose to the occasion. With three minutes remaining before the half, Methodist capitalized on a Paul Costanzo fumble deep in Maryville territory. As the defense held strong, the Monarchs settled for a 27 yard Tyler Mosko field goal to make the score 13-10 at the half.
The Scots set the momentum early in the second half. They promptly marched their first possession 67 yards on nine plays to put some additional points on the board. A pair of completions from Conner to Bledsoe set up a 28 yard connection from Conner to tight end Jared Miller. A penalty and a sack made MC settle for a 30 yard field goal by Noboa. At the 10:20 mark, Maryville advanced their lead to 16-10.
Methodist struck back two possessions later. A 21 yard pass from Reber to James Bevans put the Monarchs in striking distance. The next play Reber hit Phifer for a 38 yard TD. Mosko's kick put Methodist up 17-16 with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The visitor's lead did not last very long as Maryville marched down the field 70 yards on 13 plays featuring a 23 yards reception from Idlette and a 10 yard haul in by Zane Winders. The Monarch's defense held strong and Andrew Noboa connected on a 23 yard field goal in the first drive of the final quarter.
At the eight minute mark Methodist began a seven play, 42 yard drive. MC's defense came up big with a stop and pushed Methodist back, forcing Mosko to attempt a 53 yard field goal. As it sailed wide right, Maryville used the field possession to set up their final scoring drive.
Conner connected with Paul Costanzo with a screen on 3rd and 6 for a 32 yard gain. As Conner attempted to hit Wesley Idlette in the corner of the end zone, MU's Roy Mewborn intercepted the toss. Mewborn attempted to return the miscue from the end zone as was met my MC's Dakota Jenkins, who forced Methodist to fumble. The loose ball was scooped up by Maryville's Zane Winders and he promptly scored from four yards out. Following a brief discussion and enforcing a pass interference call, the play stood. Noboa's kick gave Maryville a 26-17 advantage.
Methodist answered with a 17 yard kick-off return. Following a sack, Reber hit James Bevans in full stride for a 59 yard score. Mosko's kick made the score 26-24 with 2:50 remaining.
A Monarch on-side kick was covered by Wesley Idlette and the Scots ran the clock down for their first victory of the season.
Methodist (1-4, 0-2 USA South) was paced by Max Reber's 231 yards passing. Reber was 15-for-28 and connected for three touchdowns. Matthew Phifer hauled in five passes for 84 yards while James Bevans added three catches for 81 yards. John Flanagan led Methodist's 71 yard running attack with 40 yards on 10 carries. Defensively, Navahri Holden recorded 11 total tackles featuring 8 solo stops and a sack. Jody Balaam added seven tackles.
Maryville (1-4, 1-1 USA South) saw Chad Brooks, Melvin Burston, Travis Felder, and Blake Williams each rush for over 24 yards. Idlette was the quarterback's favorite target with six receptions for 68 yards. Burston added 28 yards to MC's air attack going 3-for-6 in limited action.Dakota Crews paced the defense with 10 total tackles. Jamie Owen had eight stops including a pair of sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss of 11 yards. Alex Anderson and Blake Barnes were also all over the field with 14 combined take downs.
Maryville will return to action next weekend when they travel to Winchester, Virginia to challenge Shenandoah University. The Monarch will return to the road as they travel to Ferrum, Virginia to take on Ferrum College.