Not only will Coffee County and Tullahoma will both be looking to claim the coveted Coffee Pot during the 93rd annual battle for the trophy at Wilkins Stadium in Tullahoma on Friday, but each team will also be searching for its first win of the season.
Tullahoma enters its second home game of the year after losing a 31-13 matchup to Shelbyville on Aug. 16. Coffee County kicked off its season with a closer contest, losing 22-14 at home to Franklin County on Aug. 17.
Early in the fourth quarter last week, the Red Raiders grabbed a 14-7 lead over Franklin County, scoring with 11 minutes left on the clock. Coffee County’s CJ Anthony came away with an interception, returning it 80 yards, and giving Coffee County its first lead of the contest.
However, the lead was short lived, as the Rebels went on to score a touchdown on their next drive when quarterback Neyland Jean found Dakota Waggoner for a 17-yard touchdown. Franklin County faked the ensuing 2-point conversion, handing the ball to Marquice Toliver, who found a wide open Mason Mitchell in the end zone, giving their team a 15-14 lead with 7:30 left on the clock.
Riley Ingle padded Franklin County’s advantage after the Raiders turned the ball over on downs on their next offensive possession. Ingle broke free for a 33-yard rushing touchdown, putting the Rebels up 22-14.
With one last chance to tie the ballgame, Coffee County quarterback Andrew Mahaffey was intercepted on the Raiders’ next possession, giving the Rebels possession inside the red zone with just over a minute left to play. The Rebels drained the clock from there, holding on for the win.
In the loss, Coffee County was held to just 194 yards of offense on the night. However, the Raiders’ defense held Franklin County to 281 yards on the day. Both teams turned the ball over three times, each with a pair of fumbles and an interception.
The majority of the yardage for Coffee County came on the ground, as Mahaffey only completed four of his 10 pass attempts for 29 yards. The senior quarterback also ran for 101 yards on 24 carries.
Coffee County’s lone offensive touchdown came early in the third quarter, when Marshall Haney rushed for a 3-yard touchdown.
At Wilkins Stadium on Aug. 16, Tullahoma grabbed a 13-10 lead over Shelbyville early in the second quarter. However, the Golden Eagles went on to score 21 unanswered points as the Wildcats dropped their season opener, 31-13.
Briasen Corn shouldered the load for Tullahoma, rushing for 114 yards on 22 carries for the Wildcats. Corn also put up both of Tullahoma’s touchdowns on the night, finding the end zone first from a yard out and then plunging across the goal line on a 13-yard score.
Offensively, the Wildcats totaled 287 yards in the loss. Defensively, Tullahoma surrendered 467 yards, including 217 rushing yards. Shelbyville quarterback Grayson Tramel threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns.
In his first varsity start, Tullahoma quarterback Ben Fulton completed 21 of his 31 pass attempts for 178 yards, but was intercepted twice, both in the second half. Fulton started off hot for the Wildcats, completing his first 10 pass attempts.
Race Marin was Fulton’s leading receiver on the night, hauling in six catches for 64 yards on the night. Hunter Palmer also caught five catches for 29 yards, while Matthew Ross brought in three catches for 19 yards.
For those who can’t make it to Friday night’s game, it will be broadcast on 101.5 FM. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Tullahoma High School until 2 p.m. on Friday. Tickets will also be available at the gate.
Kickoff for the 93rd annual rivalry game is scheduled for 7 p.m.