Week one football preview: at Maryville

Week one football preview: at Maryville

What: Berry College (0-9, 0-6 SAA in 2013) vs Maryville College (8-2, 6-1 USA South in 2013)

When: Saturday, Sept. 6, 1:30 p.m. (EDT)

Where: Lloyd L. Thornton Stadium, Maryville, Tenn.

Radio: WALQ AM 1410, Ben Poplin, play by play.

2014 Berry Roster: http://berryvikings.com/sports/fball/2014-15/roster

Berry Stats Last Year: http://berryvikings.com/sports/fball/2013-14/files/teamcume.htm

Live Video with audio and stats: http://www.mcscots.com/sports/fball/2014-15/schedule

Web audio only: WLAQ http://www.wlaq1410.com/

Last year's Game:  A standing-room-only crowd of 6,700 attended the first game in Berry College football history. A veteran Maryville College team, however, defeated the Vikings, 37-0. The attendance mark was impressive since the 2012 NCAA Division III Championship—also known as the Stagg Bowl—had listed crowed of 6,027. According to the NCAA, the average for all 2012 DIII games was 1,952. Only three teams—St. Johns (Minn.), Wisconsin Whitewater and Hampden-Sydney--averaged more fans than showed up at Barron Stadium on Sept. 7, 2013. The 6,700 fans is also an NCAA Division III record for a "first football game." For Maryville, Evan Pittinger finished this game 15-23 with 212 yards and one touchdown. Running back Travis Felder, scored three times with 95 yards on 16 carries. For the Vikings, Adam Sandin, went 13-24 with 123 passing yards. Cameron Boyd led the receivers with 53 yards on three catches. Linebacker Anthony Batey had a game-high 15 tackles, and Preston Stewart contributed nine total tackles.

Berry Outlook: The Vikings will be improved, simply by being a year older and stronger. Head Coach Tony Kunczewski and his staff were pleased with the team's scrimmage effort against a strong Huntingdon program….On offense, Dale Jackson has earned starting assignment. Fellow sophomore Adam Sandin played a lot in 2013 begins the year as the number two. In the backfield, freshman Jalen Tuggle has risen to the top of the depth chart. Chris Lilly and Trey Ciresi (injured in 2013) are the starting wideouts…On defense, ballhawk Anthony Batey has shifted from outside linebacker to strong safety. "Anthony is a playmaker and we like to move him to where we think the ball is going," Kunczewski said. Fellow team captain Matt Farinella is back at inside linebacker…The special teams were perhaps the team's strength a year ago, and that should not change. Punter Mitchell Blanchard and kicker Campbell Harrison return for Berry.

Maryville Outlook: Maryville earned a USA South co-championship in 2013, and were picked first in in the 2014 coaches' preseason poll…The Scots are strong in the trenches and boast two preseason All-Americans on the offensive line. Rance Hightower, a native of Adairsville, Georgia was named a preseason All-American by The Sporting News and Lindy's Sports garnering first team honors in each publication. Teammate Dalton Stephens was named a preseason All-American selection by D3football.com and Lindy's Sports following a breakout junior campaign….The Scots' OL helped the team rush for 288 yards per game,  ranked eighth nationally in the NCAA Division III. They also helped contribute to an offense that averaged more than 473 yards per contest. 

Coaches Corner with Tony Kunczewski: Week one at Maryville