Well, my record is really struggling this year. The Pioneers are a much improved team, but they’ve forgotten how to play for 60-minutes. Don’t blame the coaching staff, they’ve put all they’ve got into preparing the team, The Team needs to take care of the ball. Last year the Pioneers were among the nation’s leaders in turnover margin……they’re not this year!
The Pioneers went into the Presbyterian game with a +2, they finished a -3……NOT GOOD. If the Pioneers don’t give up two fumbles on their own 15, on back-to-back series, and they don’t allow a kickoff return for a touchdown, they play the conference’s number two team to the wire, but they didn’t and the only finger you can point to is how the other team has capitalized on the PIoneers mistakes………because that’s all it has been this year, MENTAL MISTAKES. Currently the Pioneers are riding a four game losing skid and will face a team that put 51 points on the board last week against Newberry (and remember, Newberry beat Gardner-Webb 34-31….go figure!) Mars Hill. Yeah, Mars Hill! I’m not sure I’ll even know what to talk about during the game…..Mars Hill runs a backyard-style offense. Basically, just get the ball to the end zone type approach. You can’t put a lable to it so they call it the Wishbone, call what you want, I’ll call it Yard-Ball! Apparently it’s working though, they’re 2-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall, and this is a team that had to come from behind to beat the Pioneers last year.
This years game has been dubbed ” The Rock “, a new rivalry added to the conference and a game that will be played at the end of the year from now on. These two schools will be meeting for the 16th time, but the first time as conference foes. The Pioneers own a 7-6-2 record against the Lions, but Mars Hill has won five straight dating back to 1936. (In ’37 and ’38 the teams tied 0-0 and 6-6, they probably ran the wishbone back then too.) This whole “Rock” thing was started by Dom Donnelly (TC’s SID) and the Greeneville Sun’s, Joe Byrd. Good idea, but read what you want to how it truly originated, the fact is Donnelly and Byrd snuck over to Mars Hill and threw rocks through windows while yelling “The Spirit of David Crockett Lives and He IS A True Pioneer, and We’ve Got Your Former Athletic Director” I’m not sure the true Pioneer – David Crockett would approve and I know Tusculum College is not that old, as a matter of fact I’m sure Crockett was not the studying type! I do know that Ed Hoffmeyer’s a pretty decent AD, but in retrospect, they stole our President…..call it even. So, I’m not sure what Dom and Joe were doing, but they created a rivalry out of it and Mars Hill gathered the rocks and then bronzed them and now call the game …… the battle for “The Rock!”
All kidding aside, it will take more than rocks for the Pioneers to win their first conference game against Mars Hill, on the road, and during Their Homecoming! But, for all of those with questions in your mind and despite my 1-4 record this year (which, by the way is the same record as the Pioneers) Tusculum will PREVAIL. It will take a near perfect game, but that’s what they’ll get. Andy Smith takes over and a much needed running game matures even more as J’Dron London and Raymond Raines all gain over 100 yards on the ground, as the PIoneers start quick and end strong. They’ll put the game out of reach after the first half, stymying any comeback for the Lions…….49-24.
Don’t take my word for it, either listen right here on the Web Page, or tune to 1450 AM. Our pregame coverage starts at 1:45, with kickoff from Meares Field at 2:30. By the way, HEY THRILL, any chance West Va. Wesleyan has an open date next year?……..just a thought, you know we could conjure up some kind of rivalry there, like “The Battle Of The Little Debbies!”
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Though this week’s game will be the 16th meeting ever between Tusculum College and Mars Hill College on the gridiron, this year’s game will mean more than just another battle of the Mountain Border War. Saturday’s contest will be the first time the Pioneers and the Lions will be playing against each other as South Atlantic Conference brethren.
As in many classic rivalries, more than just bragging rights will be at stake. To the winner of this week’s game and future gridiron meetings goes “The Rock.” At the conference football meetings in July, Tusculum sports information director Dom Donnelly and Mars Hill SID Rick Baker came up with the idea after a discussion with sports writer Joe Byrd at the Greeneville Sun to create a traveling trophy concept between the two schools.
Donnelly and Baker met at the North Carolina-Tennessee state line and selected the 10-pound piece of granite from the mountain-side along the border. There is still debate between the two SID’s upon which side “The Rock” originated.
The trophy will be awarded to the winner of this week’s South Atlantic Conference game at Meares Stadium in Mars Hill, N.C. for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. Beginning next year, TC and Mars Hill are scheduled to meet in the final regular season contest for each school.
“The Rock” rivalry joins other heated games in South Atlantic Conference lore. One of the most noteworthy is the “Bronze Derby”, played for annually by Presbyterian College and Newberry College. Newberry also plays annually for the Bishop’s Trophy against Lenoir-Rhyne College.
Hey Now!!!!!! Greene County Football, despite valiant efforts, took an ” O-Fer” this past Friday. Despite the shutout all schools seemed to have some breakthroughs…….Greeneville realized how difficult it is to win without Alex Brice plus, giving the ball to their opposition in the Red Zone. South Greene probably figured that if they had a healthy team and were playing at Rebel Hill, that Cloudland would have had their “egoes” stroked with a good ‘ol, smash mouth, that’s what you get for embarrassing one of our Greene County School’s type beating. Chuckey-Doak found that Michael Gillespie is going to run over everybody in the conference, he’s only a sophmore. North Greene found they DO have an offense without Joeseph Ormsbee. AND….WEST GREENE socored on the road for the first time this year.
Not bad, but this week brings even more tests for our Greene County Teams. Our G-103 game of the week features Chuckey-Doak at North Greene. The Tundra was primed for a North Greene upset two years ago, that kept the Black Knights out of the playoffs, but this year…..a much colder outcome awaits The Huskies. Joseph Ormsbee will be held out of this weeks contest, due to doctors orders, and even though the Huskies put 27 points against Johnson County, North Greene will have to puts even more points on the board to overpower a high potent Black Knight offense. Chuckey-Doak’s, Michael Gillespie, was masterful against Happy Valley and nearly beat the Warriors himself. Gillespie is a talented runner and the Husky Defense will be “gang-tackling” and chasing after him all game, while North Greene’s Shane Miller has the same run-ability, look for him to gain big yards through the air. If the Huskies can keep moving the ball and score, and If the Black Knights offense stumbles (as it did two years ago)…..look for a Tundra upset, but those are big IF”S. This one will be decided on the field, and I’ll know the outcome when this huge rivalry is over. Air time Friday is 7pm with kickoff at 7:30.
Elsewhere in the County, the South Greene Rebels will host Johnson County for Homecoming at Rebel Hill. The Rebels played 47 minutes and 46 seconds of shutout football against the state’s number four team, Cloudland. But in those 14 seconds, Cloudland scored twice to take the conference lead. If South Greene gets another chance to play Cloudland, look for the Rebels to have the LAST LAUGH! But to Friday’s game……..please, despite Johnson County’s size, South Greene is finally getting healthy, so the Longhorns had better bring some of that Roan Mountain Magic that Cloudland used last week, but even if they do, the winds at Rebel Hill will quickly blow it away and the man-hood out of the Longhorns. Lea Anne Jaynes returns to relinquish her Homecoming Crown and watch her beloved Rebels “bulldog” the Longhorns 33-7. The Rebel defense is STOUT!!! THE WEST GREENE BUFFALOES scored their first points of the season on the road against Hampton and now welcome Unaka to The Range. Unaka has been a strong opponent for all Watauga Conference foes this season and look for more of the same this Friday. Momentum from last Friday carries over for the Buffs and they win a squeaker in a possibe quagmire at the “hard as a rock – Range”. The Mud-Bowl is won as Dearinger continues to grow as a Quarterback…..12-8.
Our featured game on 1450 WSMG welcomes the Greene Devils back to Burley Stadium and also welcomes long-time rival Jefferson County. Is it just me, or does Greeneville battle a long-time rival every week……..so you tell me, What do YOU Think That Means………Coach Zellar is finding out, the Greene Devils have to stop these Unsportsmanlike Penalties, THAT is how you create Rivals! Anyway, Greeneville for the past few years have been able to back up their “I’m a lumber-jack” type attitude with “W’s”, but not the case this year. Injuries and unlucky plays have spelled the doom in their three losses. Jefferson County is coming off a big victory against William Blount last week, while the Greene Devils went reeling to their second straight loss to Morristown West. The road wary Greene Devils had better not let bus-lag catch up to them, but it might be a good idea for the team to Bus Over To Burley (since they are used to those brown and green seats). Jefferson County hasn’t had one of their stellar, strong years, but then again neither have the Greene Devils. Honestly, it won’t matter in this one, the Patriots will show “the-reds-of-their-eyes” one too many times for Aaron Christian as he throws for three scores and adds another on the ground. Greeneville entertains the Burley faithful with a 41-21 win.