Just 30 or so miles down US Route 71, Maryville football’s toughest test in weeks awaits. The Spoofhounds will face off against Savannah Oct. 12, playing as the visitors for the first time since Week 5.
The Spoofhounds (6-1, 5-0) enter the rivalry game on the heels of their sixth straight win, the latest in the series of triumphs coming in the form an 82-8 win over Bishop LeBlond, Maryville’s most dominant win to date.
Since a 38-35 Week 1 loss to Blair Oaks, Maryville’s play has been dynamic. The team has allowed just 28 points over the last six weeks, while scoring 351. Over the course of the win streak, the ‘Hounds have wreaked havoc on MEC opponents, coasting to a 5-0 record against conference foes.
Savannah (5-2, 5-0 MEC) offers a more intriguing matchup than any team has all season for Maryville. The Savages, like the Spoofhounds, have won five-consecutive conference matchups.
“Savannah is an excellent football team,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said. “There are two teams undefeated in the MEC conference right now with two weeks left to go, so we’ve got to beat them if we want to win a conference championship.”
In all likelihood, the outcome of the game will determine which team claims the MEC crown. With just two games to go for Maryville, the stakes are as high as they’ve been all season.
“I can’t say enough good things about Savannah,” Webb said. “They average scoring over 50 points per game. They’re just excellent. We’re going to have our hands full trying to get a victory, so it’s gonna be a great football game.”
The stage is set for a showdown between the MEC’s two highest octane offenses, and two of its most stout defenses. Savannah has averaged slightly more than 57 points per game this season, while the Maryville defense has yielded just nine points per contest this year and a little more than five points per game when facing MEC opponents.
“They’re pretty good, I’m not going to lie,” junior lineman Jackson Bram said of Savannah. “But we’re going to be ready. We’ve got to have a hard week of practice, and we’ve really got to lock in mentally. It’s going to be fun.”
In some ways, the MEC title on the line in the matchup is just an added layer to the game for both teams. Historically, the game offers excitement and intensity regardless of the stakes.
Maryville and Savannah are both communities who take football seriously, each a city with a unique Friday night tradition, unlike those found elsewhere. The rivalry game provides a chance for two averse towns to prove their superiority on the gridiron.
“Every year, it’s a rivalry,” Webb said. “These kids grow up with that. You grow up in Maryville disliking Savannah and you grow up in Savanna disliking Maryville, it’s just the way it is. It’s going to be a competitive football game.”
For Maryville, the matchup will offer a dry run for the postseason; a game with higher stakes than any other contest the ‘Hounds have participated in for nearly a year. It’s the kind of game the Spoofhounds have been preparing for, and almost assuredly, one they’re ready for.
“Savannah is a really good team,” senior running back Tyler Houchin said. “We’re ready for them. We’re going to go out there and do what we’ve been doing.”