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Two-point gamble gives Whitehaven a state title

12:00 AM, Dec. 01, 2012 EST

Mark Dodson's off-tackle run on a two-point conversion gave Whitehaven its first state title with a 36-35 overtime win over Maryville in the Class 6A final Saturday night at Tennessee Tech's Tucker Stadium.

Whitehaven (15-0) ended Maryville's 43-game win streak. The Rebels (14-1) had won the previous two state titles.

"We went to that new formation that we put in for a situation like this," Dodson said of the Tigers' 'Capital I' formation. "I knew it was there because (Maryville) brought everybody in the box because we had been running inside the tackles the whole game and I just bounced it right outside, and I just dove for the end zone."

Dodson's 1-yard run narrowed the deficit to 35-34 in overtime.

Dodson, an Ole Miss commitment who was named the offensive MVP, rushed for 318 yards and five touchdowns. He finished the season with 3,295 yards, second-most in state history.

Beech's Jalen Hurd held onto the record of 3,357 set the night before during a win over Columbia in the 5A final.

Whitehaven coach Rodney Saulsberry said he never had any second thoughts about going for two.

"I said, 'If we score, we're going for two,' " Saulsberry said. "I said, 'When I saw the play called and saw where (Maryville) was lined up we knew that we were going to get it and knew that we'd be champions."

Shawn Prevo's 5-yard run gave Maryville a 35-28 lead after the first overtime possession.

"Obviously looking back, we should have gone for two on the first possession in overtime," Rebels coach George Quarles said. "The way our line was blocking I think we probably would have gotten it, but we didn't and left the door open for them to go for two. It's kind of a helpless feeling knowing that the game is going to end on that one play, no matter what."

Prevo rushed for 156 yards and three TDs on 30 carries.

Maryville sent the game into OT tied 28-28 when Nick Myers threw a 13-yard TD pass to T.J. Kimble with 45.3 seconds left in regulation.

Whitehaven was the only West Tennessee team to win a state title as the other six finished second.



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