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Rockwood High School Tigers

1978 Team Page

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1978 Coaches (Click Image for Larger Pic)

1978 Seniors (Click Image for Larger Pic)

Row 1(L-R): Kent Robbins (2) Jeff Brasel (95) Ken Klyce (10) Bobby Holcomb (21) Johnny Albertson (56) Wade McCullough (60) Keith Gibson (85) Jimmy Bachelor (31) Roy Nichols (65) Darryl Meadows (57) Michael Allen (52)

Row 2(L-R): Travis Collier (Mgr) Jeff Wicks (41) Russ Cisson (68) Mike Monday (83) Lowell Watts (75) Tibby Snipes (76) Willard Mead (73) Ricky Kirk (79) Phil Roberts (15) Greg Ross (72) James Wiley Gunter (Trainer) Mike Collier (Mgr)

Row 3(L-R): Jeff Cunningham Coach Clarence Holloway Coach Bob Merideth John Evans (50) Scott Manning (64) Fred Sherrill (77) Greg Hill (90) Tommy McFarland (70) Darrell Payne (18) David Jones (97) Coach C W Pemberton Coach Mike Collier

Row 4:(L-R): Jeff Cobb (27) Mark Clem (67) Billy Springs (40) Clayton Neal (55) Mark Pemberton (7) Jum Mead (92) George Treadway (25) Darrell Warner (90) Randy Wicks (34) Randy Crabtree (22)

The Story of the 1978 Season
The 1978 Tigers started with one thing on their mind and that was a rematch with the state power Maryville Rebels. They opened the season with a powerful Bearden Bulldog team coming to town. Revenge was definitely on the minds of the Tigers on that steamy hot Friday night. It was a defensive struggle all game with regulation ending in a scoreless tie. The Tigers won the toss and elected to go on defense first. They held the Bulldogs to 1 yard on their first 3 downs. The Bulldogs then lined up for a FG which they faked and were thrown for a loss. After Jeff Cobb lost a yard over the right side the Tigers Mark Pemberton threw to the left corner of the end zone on the scoreboard end with Jeff "Peanut" Brasel catching the game winner falling backwards for a 6-0 win. Rockwood's defense held Bearden to a total of 111 yards for the game.

Next up was the state's longest running rivalry with the Harriman Blue Devils. Harriman jumped on top early 7-0 but the tigers came back and took a 35-7 lead on their first drive of the third quarter and survived a furious Harriman comeback winning with Kent Robbins interception of a James Fowler pass to secure the victory 35-27. Billy Springs lead the Tigers ground attack with 18 carries for 164 yards.

The next big game was with the #1 ranked team in the state in AA, the Lenior City Panthers lead by future Vol and professional player Chris Wampler and the single wing offense. At 6'3' and 245 lbs Chris was a huge QB in those days. He was probably bigger than anyone on our team. Lenior City opened up a 3-0 halftime lead on a 37 yard FG right before haltime. The Tigers finally got on the board in the 3rd quarter after a Billy Springs 43 yard run to the LC 1 yard line. He would score 3 plays later. In the 4th quarter Clayton Neal intercepted a Wampler pass and returned it 13 yards to the LC 7 yard line where Springs would score 3 plays later. Lenior City would score its first touchdown in 3 years against the Tigers late in the 4th quarter. LC would finish 9-1 and ranked in the top 5 but not get to go to the play-offs as only one team per district went. The Tigers went on to win their next 4 games and rolled into the Kingston game with an 8-0 record and a #2 state ranking behind Maryville.

Kingston gave the Tigers a scare but they prevailed by the score of 13-7. The Tigers finished the season by beating Knox. Webb 33-7 after spotting them an early 7-0 lead as Billy Springs went over the 1000 yard rushing mark by gaining 176 yards giving him 1,143 for the season and giving the Tigers a perfect 10-0 record and still ranked #2 in the rankings.

First up for the Tigers was Chattanooga Notre Dame. The game would be played at Chattanooga Central High School. Notre Dame had been defeated that year by Kingston and the Tigers may have taken them for granted still pointing toward the rematch with Maryville. The Tigers were soundly defeated that night 12-0 as they could not generate any offense at all and finished the season 10-1. This team capped a 5 year run that saw the Tigers go 55-5. With just a few breaks the Tigers could have won the State 5 years in a row. Many believe if they had not been bumped up to AA they would have won it in 77 and 78. This still remains the greatest 5 year run in Rockwood Tiger Football history.

1978 (10-1)
Rockwood 6 Bearden 0 W
Rockwood 35 Harriman 27 W
Rockwood 56 Wartburg Central 0 W
Rockwood 14 Lenoir City 10 W
Rockwood 19 Rogersville 2 W
Rockwood 14 Scott 0 W
Rockwood 45 Loudon 6 W
Rockwood 48 White County 7 W
Rockwood 13 Kingston 7 W
Rockwood 33 Knox. Webb 7 W
Rockwood 0 Notre Dame 12 L

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