Photo by Kimberly Williams
As the “Welcome Home!” banner hung proudly above University Avenue, thousands of stu-dents, alumni, families, faculty, and staff poured into Harris Stadium for the promising homecoming football game.
But the excitement didn’t stop in the bleach-ers or along the fence. On Hardee-McGee field the Sewanee Tigers were get-ting pumped about the up-coming battle against the Berry College Vikings. From the very first minute, the Tigers were ready to give their many fans some-thing to cheer for.
The O-line didn’t waste any time, starting the game by recovering a fumble on the Vikings’ opening drive. Over the following five plays the Tigers drove 42 yards down the field, culminating with an 11 yard touchdown by running back Davante Jones (C’16). The crowd went wild for the Tigers! Cheering and yelling filled the stadium, further propelling the Tigers, but also instigating Berry. The determined Vi-kings made their first score on the following possession after forcing the ball 71 yards over the course of eight plays.
This Berry touchdown did not deter the victory-hungry Tigers. Immediately following the Vikings’ score, Sewanee ran eight running plays, culminating with quarterback Cody Daniel (C’16) throwing a beautiful 11 yard touch-down pass to wide receiver Steven Hearn (C’18). Hearn cut through the players, opening himself up for the pass, darting past the Vikings and into the end zone. Deafening cheers filled the stadium, hyped fans jumping for joy as the Tigers began to win.
However, the Tigers weren’t done yet. Only halfway through the second quarter, after 13 plays leading to an 80 yard drive, Jones scored another touchdown. Jones continued to tear up the field. Immediately following his previous touchdown, Jones took the ball 33 yards. This drive, combined with a personal foul by Berry, left a mere with a field goal and touch-down to close out the first eight yards between Sewanee and increasing their side of the scoreboard.
Fullback Andy Moots (C’16) rushed the ball, followed by Callum Wishart (C’16) with an excellent kick. The Tigers were winning, and getting slightly too comfortable. The Vi-kings hadn’t been beaten yet, and they came back half, bringing the score to 28-17. While the Tigers ran to the sidelines to rally for the second half, the Sewanee Homecoming Court took the field. Excellent representatives from every fraternity, sorority, and the Order of the Gownsmen took the field to the cheers and applause of thousands. After this celebration, the Vikings and Tigers re-turned, rejuvenated to take each other on.
The third quarter proved less exciting with a single field goal from the Vikings bringing the only new score. However the Tigers would have preferred this lull to the action that followed. The fourth quarter had the remaining fans on the edge of their seats. Starting with a five yard penalty, the Tigers could not seem to score for most of the last quarter. The ball went back and forth between the two teams, neither making very much progress. The Vikings suddenly stepped up with a 33 game with two touch-downs, 194 yards, and 24 yard pass and a touchdown.
The Tigers, determined to win on their home turf during homecoming, blocked Berry on their two point conversion, retaining the lead.
The Tigers spent the remaining approximately four and a half minutes running down the clock until Wishart made a 28 yard field goal, putting the final points on the Tigers’ side of the scoreboard. The Vikings, not wanting to dis-appoint the handful of fans who had made the journey from Georgia to cheer them on, made a valiant effort to score one last time. This effort was quickly dashed with an interception by linebacker John Paul McDonnell (C’15). With a final score of 31-26, the Tigers had plenty to celebrate for the rest of Fall Party. Offensively, Jones had a noteworthy carries. Also, running back Barrett Goodson (C’15) had a career-high rushing total with 81 yards. The D-line boasted homecoming king and defensive back De’Nard Ford (C’15) with five tackles. Defensive back Alex Kops (C’16) also made five crucial tackles. The combined total of rushing yards by the Tigers reached 378 – more than any other game this season. This win also boosted team morale and school spirit, breaking the half-dozen game losing streak. Lastly, Sewanee has now beaten Berry College every time the football teams have met. As the last home game of the season, the coaches and players are thankful for the support of all those on the Mountain and look forward to their last game as well as the seasons to come. YSR!