Since 1924, we’ve had at least one meeting between the Harriman Blue Devils and the Rockwood Tigers. They started playing each other in 1921 but did not play in 1923. So, for the last ninety-eight consecutive years, this game has taken place. Meeting number 104 will be the OEB Law Game of the Week.
Rockwood leads this long and storied traditional rivalry game 61-36-6.
There is no other opponent on either team’s schedule that comes that close to the number of games played, and there’s few in the state either. There are schools older than Rockwood and Harriman and may have played more times than those teams, but there are no other teams in the state of Tennessee that have played consecutively like these two.
For example, the Trenton Peabody and Milan rivalry started in 1922 and they have played 102 times, however, they didn’t play in 1924, 1929, 1999, and 2000, and they played 2 times in 1922, 1943, 1944, and in 2006 and 2007 they played 1 regular season and 1 playoff game each. They are the closest to the Harriman and Rockwood Rivalry, but only because of the multiple games played in 5 different seasons, as they had the 4 years that they, for some reason, didn’t play.
I asked Coach Joe Gaddis, who coached Peabody in 2012, if he knew why they took a two-year hiatus in 1999 and 2000, but he did not know why, but knows that he opened the season with Milan in 2012.
So, let’s look at the Harriman vs. Rockwood series by decade.
Rockwood has dominated the 2000’s as Harriman has only won two games since 2000.
Harriman won 6 out of 10 in the 1990’s.
The 80’s were split with 5 wins for both teams.
Rockwood won 9 out of 10 meetings in the 1970’s.
Harriman led the 60’s with 6 wins and a tie, giving Rockwood only 3 wins during the time period.
The Blue Devils also led the series in the 50’s with 7 wins to Rockwood’s 3 wins.
Rockwood owned the 40’s with 8 wins to only 2 losses.
The 30’s belonged to Harriman as they won 5 and tied 2. While Rockwood won 3 times.
And in the 1920’s, Rockwood won 6 (2 games each in 1921 and 1922) with 2 losses and 3 ties.
So, what about this year’s game? If history repeats itself, it should be Rockwood with the easy win, but Harriman says, “not so fast my friend”. Harriman (2-3) is coming off a 46-8 shellacking of Sunbright, while Rockwood (2-3) is coming into the game after a 28-14 loss at Monterey.
Can Harriman handle the pounding of the Rockwood Wing T offense?
Can Rockwood stay with Harriman’s athleticism?
These are things that we will find out on Friday in the OEB Law Game of the Week, the state’s oldest rivalry, Harriman at Rockwood, and it’s live on BBB TV-12 and of course on all our streaming outlets. Our pregame will begin at 7pm with Kickoff set for 7:30pm. Join Aaron Harvey and James “Hoot” Gibson for all the action on BBB TV-12.
Here’s a look at a few other rivalries in the state of Tennessee and how many times they have played.
Peabody vs. Milan – 102 times
Science Hill vs. Dobyns-Bennett – 100 times
Bradley Central vs. McMinn County – 100 times
Clarksville vs. Springfield – 99 times
Haywood vs. Ripley – 96 times
Haywood vs. Dyersburg – 91 times
Union City vs. Humboldt – 91 times
Tennessee High vs. Dobyns-Bennett – 90 times
Father Ryan vs. Montgomery Bell Academy – 90 times
Baylor vs. McCallie – 89 times
Most Times Played against a Rival in our Viewing area:
Harriman vs. Rockwood – 103 times
Coalfield vs. Oakdale – 85 times
Coalfield vs. Sunbright – 84 times
Coalfield vs. Wartburg – 83 times
Kingston vs. Harriman – 78 times
Coalfield vs. Oneida – 77 times
Kingston vs. Loudon – 76 times
Kingston vs. Rockwood – 71 times
Oakdale vs. Wartburg – 71 times
Oliver Springs vs. Rockwood – 60 times
Oak Ridge vs. Clinton – 60 times
Midway vs. Greenback – 56 times
Anderson County vs. Clinton – 35 times