Football Drops Opener at Maryville

Chris Lilly at Maryville
Chris Lilly at Maryville

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Evan Pittenger passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as Maryville College defeated Berry College, 43-17, on Saturday.

Maryville moved to 1-0 and the Vikings fell to 0-1.

Dale Jackson completed 19-of-40 passes for 146 yards for BC. He tossed two interceptions, but also completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Chris Lilly (8 catches, 83 yards) in the third quarter.

Backup QB Tate Adcock teamed with Terrell Blakesleay for a 26-yard score in the final period for BC.

Yet the Vikings struggled early. Berry went three-and-out on its first offensive possession and punted. On the Scots' first play from scrimmage, Trenton Shuler took a handoff, broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage, and scampered 84 yards for a touchdown.

Maryville jumped to a 16-0 lead after another touchdown and a Scot field goal. Berry, however, got on the scoreboard with a 32-yard field goal from Mitchell Blanchard. The score occurred after the Berry defense recovered a fumble in Maryville territory.

After Pittenger (11-18, 143 yards) recorded his second and third TD passes, the Scots led 30-3 at halftime.

"We kept on fighting and were able to limit them in the second half," said Berry Head Coach Tony Kunczewski. "But the credit goes to Maryville; they are very good and are a three-time defending conference champion team."

The Scots outgained the Vikes 465 yards to 298. Shuler rushed for 132 yards on 17 carries for the home team.

On defense for the Vikings Evan Breakspear collected eight tackles, including five solo stops and two tackles for losses. Teammate Matt Farinella also had eights stops with one solo tackle. Malcholm Graham intercepted Pittenger in the second half. 

Blanchard handled all of the kicking duties for Berry. In addition to his field goal, he tacked on two extra points and punted for a 39-yard average on 12 boots.

The Vikings ran for 107 yards on the day. Austin Lowe led a balanced attack with 32 yards on six carries.

"There are positives to build on," Kunczewski said. "We started to move the ball on offense, and we will keep improving. We are very excited to be at home next week."

The Vikings host LaGrange next Saturday to open Valhalla. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Bob and Kay Williams Field.