Preview: Rhea County (8-0) at East Hamilton (2-6)

Mark Pemberton
Golden Eagle head coach Mark Pemberton brings fans and team together after a convincing 46-3 district win over Warren County Pioneers. (photo: Gary Bolden / Rhea Review)

Rise up Rhea County, get ready for a battle.

After a three-game stretch at home, Rhea County will take an undefeated record on the road to face East Hamilton Hurricanes in Ooltewah tonight, October 24 at 7:30pm.  These two teams have only one game in the books, but it was huge.  Last season, the Hurricanes were ranked 4th in Tennessee Class 5A rankings, while Rhea County entered the contest ranked 12th.  Rhea County would ultimately upset the Hurricanes, 27-24, and take that momentum into the playoffs.


If we can’t get our juices flowing for this one… something’s wrong. ‘Cause they’re gonna be ready for us coming into their place.

Coach Mark Pemberton – Golden Eagles


This year, East Hamilton is looking to return the favor.  In spite of a 2-6 record, the Hurricanes are coming off a, 43-27, district win at home over Soddy Daisy.   They’ll bring that momentum into tonight’s game with hopes to redeem themselves of last year’s loss.

After the win over Soddy, Hurricane QB Matt Milita told Zack Kirby of River City Sports, “(Rushing game) is pretty much our offense. Hard-nosed football is what we want to do, and I think we succeeded at it.”

Golden Eagles’ coach Mark Pemberton says don’t let their record fool you.

“East Hamilton has got athletes now.  They’ve played a really tough schedule, and they’ve lost some close games,” says Pemberton.  “If we can’t get our juices flowing for this one… something’s wrong.  ‘Cause they’re gonna be ready for us coming into their place.”

Pemberton knows the impact Rhea County fans can have on a game, and he says they need to be out in full force Friday night.

“We need a big crowd down there, an excited crowd.  It’s a huge ballgame,” says Pemberton.  “They’re gonna be playing trying to get into the playoffs and a win over us would certainly help their chances.  We’re gonna get the best that they’ve got.”

“Any win is a big win right now because you’re battling for the top seed in the quadrant for the playoffs.  These last two games are gonna be playoff games essentially.  Because you’re trying to win that top spot,” adds Pemberton.

Driving Directions

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East Hamilton High School
2015 Ooltewah Ringgold Rd
Ooltewah Tn 37363

7:30pm EST Friday
October 24, 2014

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