Rhea Middle seeks redemption in Ridge to River Classic

Undefeated Eagles Travel to Spring City to avenge last year's Triple Overtime Loss

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Rhea Middle School football travels to Spring City on October 4th for third installment of "Ridge to River Classic". Eagles come in 5-0 against 4-2 Bulldogs.(Photo;GaryBolden)

October 4, 2018

Spring City, TN —  The 5-0 Rhea Middle School Football team head to Spring City Middle School looking for redemption after last years 34-28 triple overtime loss.  They play tonight in the “Ridge to River Classic” at Spring City beginning at 7 pm.  After dropping a triple overtime 34-28 game to the Bulldogs last year, a win tonight would be great and would give Eagles a perfect season.

This will be 8th grade night for the 4-2 Spring City team as well, with festivities beginning at 6:30 pm.  Expect a huge crowd at John Mincy field tonight.

Now this rivalry is a little different than some, because many of these players will be playing together next year for Rhea County High School.  And the coaches on both sidelines are coaching together at Rhea County High School.  So missing will be some of the animosity that fuels some rivalries.  But make no mistake, these guys will want bragging rights for the summer and next year.  And don’t think the coaches might also enjoy bragging rights.

Having talked to the high school players, the ribbing goes away pretty quickly at the next level for most.  After all they will then be playing together with the common goal of winning.

This will be the fifth year the two teams have played with high school coaching staffs on the sidelines for each team.   This will be the third year the game has been named “Ridge to River Classic”.  There have been some battles along the way.  Both teams run same offense and there will be no surprises.  Winning will boil down to execution, turnovers, and determination.

Rhea Middle comes into the game with unbeaten record at 5-0.  Spring City, 4-2, has struggled some in the last two games with losses to McMinn and Rockwood.  Team did not play well against McMinn but fought to the end in the Rockwood game before last drive ran out of time.  Rhea Middle could be a little rusty as they have not played in a while due to cancellations of their last two games.  Last game was a tough 14-12 win at a very good Cleveland Middle School team.

If you just look at results, this game would definitely favor the unbeaten Eagles, who won a 24-0 win over a McMinn team who beat Spring City soundly at Spring City.  But in a rivalry game, you throw out records and look for a little extra effort and motivation on the field.

Head coaches Anthony Loden and Craig Mosier along with their assistants have been working hard to get ready for the big game.  Now this is essentially the bowl game for Rhea Middle School, which does not play in a conference thus does not have post season games.  Spring City will host Oliver Springs next week in a  7 pm game in first round of post season playoffs.

For Rhea Middle School, quarterback Kaleb Martin has been great under pressure this year playing a mostly running game with his go to offense of Bryson Davis, Braydon Brown, Lane Robinson and Briley Mayberry.  Defense has been really strong too with a surprise shutdown of Cleveland’s offense this year forcing them to only score on a fumble and kickoff return. Defensive players Caleb Burress and Andrew Massengill have been doing a great job all season.

For Spring City it the offense and defense will be led by Latron “Tank” Alloway.  But he will not be alone running the ball for the Bulldogs.  Also supplying plenty of running talent will be backfield mates Kade Houston and Caleb O’Dell.  On defense this team plays team defense and Coach Loden knows it will take good effort across all eleven to win.

Thanks to Tad Rees, who covers the Rhea Middle Football program for supplying his analysis for Rhea Middle School.

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