Region Championship Game for the OEB Law Game of the Week – Oliver Springs at Coalfield

This Friday night, OEB Law and BBB Communications will bring you the Region 2-A Championship game between Oliver Springs and Coalfield, live on BBB TV-12.  This game is no ordinary game, this will be the 58th meeting between these two schools.  A series that stretches back to 1931.  A series that had been one sided by Oliver Springs for most of the time, until a recent comeback by Coalfield who has won 12 out of the last 15 games to close the gap to 34-22-1. 

Way back in 1931, when W.R. Rochelle introduced the game of football to not only Coalfield High School, but also into Morgan County as Coalfield was the first school to play organized football in the county. Who was the first team that Coalfield played against, you guessed it, the team that’s less than 5 miles down the road, the Bobcats of Oliver Springs.

The Bobcats won that inaugural game, although after much digging by Coalfield’s sports information director and historian, Greg Addington, a score that no one knows, all we know is that the Bobcats started out with the W.

It would be 1947 before the Yellow Jackets were able to climb into the win column against Oliver Springs as they defeated the Bobcats twice that season.

However, between 1947 and 2006, the Jackets were only able to win 11 games in that period, although the two teams didn’t play in the early 1980’s and early 1990’s. It wasn’t until 2005 that the two teams began playing each other nearly every year.

The Bobcats of course for the most part of those 1980’s and 1990’s was an AA school.  But in my opinion, no reason that this game couldn’t have taken place, but for reasons that I’m not aware of, it didn’t happen.

Luckily for the fans, this series has become almost an every year occurrence due to being in the same 1A region, although 2015 and 2016 when OS moved back to 2A they didn’t play.

This is a game that should be played every year.  It’s a great gate game for both schools as each community comes out and supports their teams.

On to this year’s match-up.  The Bobcats are a young team, depending on 10 sophomores and 11 freshmen to go with the 6 seniors and 6 juniors.

Oliver Springs is a run-heavy team with 1,391 yards on the ground and only 496 yards through the air.

The Bobcats are led in rushing by a sophomore, Mason Day (435 yards rushing) and a freshman, Jaxon Jett (356 yards rushing).  Jett also leads the team in receptions with 11 for 208 yards.

Oliver Springs played six games without their starting senior quarterback, Kane Gouge, who broke his fibula in the Roane County jamboree.  However, he’s now back and was 10 of 18 for 145 yards, 4 TD’s and 1 INT against Sunbright, his first full game back. Gouge is happy to be back, and excited to play in the big game on Friday.

Cole Jackson leads the defense with 57 total stops with 9 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.  Carson Nivens has 45 total tackles with 11 tackles for loss and 7 sacks.

Oliver Springs has won 4 straight games after starting the season 0-4 with losses to Rockwood, Kingston, Gordonsville and Oneida.  But the tide started turning when they faced the Indians and only lost 13-10, but that led into their region schedule which has turned into 4 consecutive wins.

Coalfield on the other hand has lost only 1 game and that was to Gordonsville (21-42) as well.  In games with common opponents, they both are 4-1 with similar scores in each of the games.

The Yellow Jackets have 11 seniors, 8 Juniors, 9 Sophomores, and 9 Freshmen.  They are led by Senior signal caller, Cole Hines who has 1,000 yards passing and 14 TD passes on 57 of 92 with 5 interceptions, but also has 205 yards rushing and 4 TD’s.  But Coalfield will play 2 quarterbacks in the game, as sophomore Luke Treece will also see some action and he has 549 yards passing and 7 TDs on 31 of 52 passing.  The combined totals on the season with all quarterbacks is 1,582 yards and 22 touchdowns.

In the run game, it’s a running back by committee type of offense as the Yellow Jackets will keep rotating backs throughout the game.  Coalton Henry leads the way with 386 yards and 7 TDs, while freshman Jaiden Bunch has 359 yards at 6 TDs.  The Jackets have 1,426 net yards on the ground for the season with 25 touchdowns.

The receiving corps is led by senior Rommel Conlon with 558 yards and 8 touchdowns, Eli Roberts with 352 yards and 2 touchdowns and Tucker West with 257 yards and 7 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Coalton Henry leads the team with 64 total stops, with Brock Jones adding 45 and Cole Hines with 39.  The Jackets are giving up 11.1 points per game and have only given up 9 points total in the 2nd half of games, total.

Coach Tyler Harper says that Oliver Springs for the most part is healthy and ready to play.  “We like where we’re at heading into Friday’s game”, Harper said on The Locker Room Chat on Wednesday night.

Coach Benson Napier said,” it’s a big-time football game.  Region Championship on the line, big rivalry game anyway, so, this one means a lot Friday.  This one means a lot to both communities; the winner will get bragging rights and we hope to come out and play well on Friday night to keep that (bragging rights).”

“There’s no love lost between the two programs, it’s one that means a lot to everybody.  Anyone a part of our community, this one means a lot to them,” Napier said.  “It should be packed out Friday night, I expect a good atmosphere for high school football.”

With all the stats mentioned, all the history of the rivalry, all the close connections in the game, well, you can just throw that out the window.  This is Coalfield vs. Oliver Springs, that’s enough said.  Both teams love to beat the other.  If you can’t get up for this game as a player, then nothing will fire you up.

BBB TV-12 along with OEB Law is proud to be bringing you this classic rivalry game, this region championship game, this good old fashioned slobber knocker.  Tune in at 7pm for the Elaine Walden Pregame show then at 7:30pm for the Kickoff of the game.  As always, if you don’t have us on your Comcast Cable, then you can watch us online at Facebook.com/bbbtv12, YouTube.com/bbbtv12, Twitter.com/bbbtv12, and of course on our website at bbbtv12.com.

If you own a Roku, FireTV, or AppleTV streaming device, then you can download the Boxcast app then search for BBB Communications and watch us there in full HD.

A special thanks to Greg Addington and Jason Daniels for all the statistics used in this article.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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