COOKEVILLE, TN -- Surely Maryville and teams from the eastern side of Tennessee have to "Respect The 'Haven" now.
Mark Dodson rushed in for a two point conversion in overtime to give Whitehaven the 36-35 victory and the school's first state championship in football. That rush followed a 1-yard TD run to cut the lead to 35-34.
Both Whitehaven (15-0) and Maryville (14-1) headed into the TSSAA Class 6A state title game with undefeated records. All they had to do was get through each other to finish with a perfect season.
The Rebels beat the Tigers last year in the state championship, 23-7. This year, it was payback time and Whitehaven running back Mark Dodson was leading the charge.
Dodson, who will play for Ole Miss year, had 34 carries for 318 yards and five touchdowns. The Tigers' offense had 446 total yards on the night, and despite 11 penalties totaling 94 yards, Whitehaven got the win.
Maryville's loss is their first since 2010 and ends a streak of 43 consecutive wins.
Rebels quarterback Nick Myers threw a pass 45-yards to T.J. Kimble with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. Maryville then went for the two point conversion, but it was negated because of an ineligible receiver penalty. That's when Miguel McNelly's point-after kick tied the game at 28.
The Tigers drove deep into Maryville territory on the ensuing possession, but Dodson was brought down short of the goal line, which allowed the regulation clock to expire.
Myers went 8-15 passing for 98-yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.
Whitehaven's Dodson was also named Offensive MVP for the game. His teammate, Darius Sims, was named Defensive MVP.