Hightower, Stephens, Scots earn pre-season accolades as Scots set to host USA South Football Media Day
Maryville College will host the USA South Football Media Day on Monday, July 28th in the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will be hosted by emcee Joe Dawson, a Maryville College alum.
Each USA South coach will reflect on their program status as the 2014 USA South pre-season coaches poll is released.
The Maryville College Fighting Scots landed just outside the national top 25 on D3football.com's pre-season poll. Maryville received 35 votes to begin 28th nationally following their break out 2013 season. The Maryville College football program made school history last fall with their first bid to the NCAA post-season. Coach Mike Rader, in his second season at the helm, led the Scots to an 8-3 overall mark while going 6-1 in league challenges. MC earned their first eight-win season since the 1978 campaign and only the 4th eight-win season in school history. The back-to-back USA South Championship squad featured the league's top rusher once again averaging 288 yards per game on the ground while increasing their total offensive production to over 473 yards per game. MC was nationally ranked in nine statistical categories; sacks allowed (1st), tackles for a loss allowed (4th), rushing yards (8th), 3rd down conversions (9th), turnovers lost (9th), 1st downs (13th), red zone offense (15th), total offense (20th), and scoring offense (21st). The Scots staff produced 21 All-Academic honorees, nine All-USA South performers, four All-South Region standouts, and the program's 38th All-American in offensive lineman Rance Hightower.
This fall, Maryville's offense will return a strong offensive line including All-USA South and All-Region standouts Rance Hightower and Dalton Stephens. Hightower has been named a pre-season All-American in several national publications while Stephens was named to Lindy's 2014 All-Division III second team. Quarterback Evan Pittenger returns his career 57% completion percentage along with his 2,744 career passing yards and 19 career passing touchdowns with hopes to find his favorite targets Ed Johnson and Jared Miller. Johnson has 99 career receptions with 11 scores while accumulating 1,462 career receiving yards. Miller, a two-time All-USA South tightend, will return to combine his strong line skills and receiver abilities after a 21 catch season that averaged over 10 yards a reception.
Maryville's stingy defense will be paced by the efforts and leadership of Zach Capehart, Josh Krebs, Gabe Johnson, and Jonathan Clark. Each player has earned All-USA South accolades during their time in the Orange and Garnet. These four standouts combined for over180 total tackles and 25.5 stops for a loss last season. They compiled 11.5 sacks while forcing five fumbles. Defensive coordinator Scott Brumett's squad returns ten of the top 14 tacklers from the 2013 unit.
The Fighting Scots have recorded a record of 36-30 in their first nine seasons in the USA South and 443 career collegiate football victories on the gridiron.
For those fans that can't attend media day, a live and/or achrived video can be seen at: http://www.mcscots.com/sports/fball/boxcast