Maryville (Tenn.) High School has been dominating the 4A football scene in Tennessee for years. This season, the Rebels are gunning for their fourth consecutive state championship and tonight, when Maryville plays Knoxville (Tenn.) Halls, it will be playing for its 54th consecutive victory.
At the heart of all of Maryville's success stands quarterback Brent Burnette. All Burnette has done over the course of the past two-plus seasons is quarterback the Rebels to a 38-0 record and two state championships. As a junior he passed for over 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns. Eight games into his senior season, Burnette's numbers continue to rise. He has thrown for just under 1900 yards and 18 touchdowns over the course of a season in which he has rarely seen second half action.
Throughout the 38 wins that Burnette has negotiated, he continues to enjoy the challenge of being the hunted.
"We know we're going to get everyone's best games," Burnette said. "No doubt about that. I wouldn't want it any other way. It makes it that much more of a challenge. I like having that 'x' on the chest."
Despite all of his accolades, the 6-2, 210-pound signal caller has yet to receive his first offer but is receiving plenty of interest.
"I'm getting letters from Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville and Virginia," he said.
Along with taking an unofficial for North Carolina's home opener, Burnette also enjoyed a trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to see Middle Tennessee State nearly knock off Virginia.
"It was a great game," he said of the trip. "They were winning most of the game. I get calls from (MTSU wide receivers coach) Coach Watts a lot. We talk on a regular basis. They just really like me. I enjoyed the visit and I love the coaching staff. I'm very interested in MTSU."
Burnette is going to let the recruiting process play out and assess his options after the season. With a 53-game win streak at stake, he will have plenty to worry about on his own.
"I don't want to look ahead or anything," he said. "First I just want to make sure we can lock up the region."