Anderson County Wins First State Title In Thriller Over Pearl-Cohn
Anderson County made their first state title game appearance Saturday morning, and the Mavericks rose to the occasion, winning a 34-30 thriller over Pearl-Cohn to cap off an undefeated season and bring the school and community their first state championship. “I grew up playing here so I know how much this means to this school and the community.” Anderson County Head Coach Davey Gillum said. “When you are a part of a rural school and community, you are playing for more than just yourselves, you’re playing for the whole community.” Pearl-Cohn sprinted out to a 14-0 lead after a first play passing touchdown and a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that the Firebirds capitalized on. The game had a chance to get ugly for Anderson County early, but the Mavericks responded with their backs against the wall. “We really preach family and staying together even through tough times.” Gillum said. “There was really no question for us that we were still in it because of the character that we know our guys have.” The first half was fueled by offense and a field goal just before halftime for Pearl-Cohn gave the Firebirds a 24-20 lead going into the break. Both defenses settled in more in the second half, especially Anderson County, as they held Pearl-Cohn to six points in the half. The four-headed monster of Walker Martinez, Bryson Vowell, Nick Moog, and game MVP Gavin Noe were nearly unstoppable for Anderson County. Noe led the Mavericks in rushing, with 138 yards and a touchdown. Anderson County ran the table this year, finishing up a stellar season in which they beat powerhouses Greeneville, Powell, and Elizabethton twice to finish the season undefeated and bring home the first state title in program history.