September 01, 20181st2nd3rd4thFinal
Mars Hill70007
1st Quarter
MHUTD05:57Craig Rucker 15 Yd Pass From Austin Brown (Tanner Fox kick)
2nd Quarter
ETSUTD00:30Kobe Kelley 14 Yd Pass From Logan Marchi (JJ Jerman kick)
3rd Quarter
ETSUTD01:06Quan Harrison 30 Yd Pass From Logan Marchi (JJ Jerman kick)
4th Quarter
ETSUTD14:02Quay Holmes 10 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)
ETSUTD04:03Evan Wick 9 Yd Pass From Logan Marchi (JJ Jerman kick)
Stats at a GlanceMHUETSU
1st Downs1423
3rd Down Conversions4-145-10
4th Down Conversions0-30-1
Passing (Comp-Att)249 (20-31) 273 (17-29)
Rushing (Att)14 (34) 238 (35)
Total Yards263511
Fumbles Lost23
ETSU football opens 2018 season Saturday versus Mars Hill
ETSU football opens 2018 season Saturday versus Mars Hill
Friday, August 31, 2018

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 31, 2018)– The ETSU football team will open the 2018 season under the lights on Saturday night when the Buccaneers host Mars Hill. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. inside William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium.


No. 1 – GOLD OUT and Fireworks presented by Pepsi: The season opener against Mars Hill has been designated as a “Gold Out.” Fans are encouraged to match the team’s all gold uniforms by wearing their favorite ETSU gold attire. In addition, fans are reminded that game day fireworks presented by Pepsi will be deployed during special moments throughout the game and a postgame fireworks show will follow the season opener.

No. 2 – Clear Bag Policy and Enhanced Security: ETSU has a clear bag policy for all home football games inside William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. In addition, new security procedures including metal detectors and security wands will be employed at entry gates. Please arrive early to insure access to your seats before kickoff. For more on security and admission policies, visit and click on the Game Day Central link on the football page.

No. 3 – Ticket information: Season tickets, SoCon Packs and single game tickets are still available. Fans can learn more by visiting and clicking on the ticket link. Meanwhile, student ticket pickup continues until noon on Thursday of home games at the Student Organization Resource Center (SORC), located inside the second floor of the CPA. For students who do not pick up a seated ticket, they may also display a valid student ID at the gate of Greene Stadium for admission to the grass berm on the north side of the stadium.

No. 4 – Tailgating and Food City Zone: Parking lots on campus open at 8 a.m. for tailgating on game days. Parking and tailgate policies are available at Also, the Food City Zone will open three hours prior to kickoff for all home games, with inflatables for children and other fun-filled pregame activities. The Food City Fan Zone is located between Lots 21 and 22 near the main roundabout entering campus from State of Franklin Road. Single game parking for $10 is available in Lot 22 located behind Bojangles’.

No. 5 – Buc Walk, Pepsi Stage and Ford Super Screen: Fans are also reminded that the Buc Walk begins two hours and fifteen minutes before each game. For the Mars Hill opener, this means the Buc Walk will begin at 5:15 p.m. In addition, the Pepsi Stage with live music and the Ford Super Screen with games from around the country will be located in Lot 21 to entertain fans for the season opener.

Also, fans are reminded they can access information regarding game day activities by visiting and clicking on the Game Day Centrallink located on the football page, or by downloading the ETSU Game Time App for Apple and Android devices. Current users of the Game Time App are encouraged to update prior to the season to get the latest information on Buc athletics.


The Bucs will open the Randy Sanders era on Saturday night as Sanders was named the 18th head coach in program history back on Dec. 17, 2017 … Sanders has spent time as offensive coordinator at Tennessee, Kentucky and most-recently Florida State.

Sanders is looking become the 10th coaching in program history to win his ETSU debut – joining the ranks of Paul Hamilton, Mike Cavan, John Robert Bell, Star Wood, Hal Littleford, L.T. Roberts, Gene McMurray and J.K. Luck.

ETSU returns 19 starters from last season (seven offense, eight defense and four specialists) … Of those 19 starters, five earned preseason all-SoCon honors – redshirt junior defensive lineman Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.), redshirt senior linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio), redshirt senior offensive lineman Matt Pyke (Clinton, Tenn.), senior kicker JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) and redshirt junior return specialist Quan Harrison (Greeneville, Tenn.).

The Buccaneers open their 84th season in program history on Saturday ... In the previous 83 openers, ETSU went 40-40-3 ... The Blue and Gold have won their last two openers and are 2-1 since restarting the program … ETSU defeated Limestone 31-10 last season to open Greene Stadium and Kennesaw State, 20-17 in double-overtime in 2017, while dropping a 56-16 decision to the Owls in 2015.

Redshirt junior Logan Marchi (Winsted, Conn.) will be the Bucs’ starting quarterback on Saturday after winning the job in camp … Marchi threw for 1,658 yards and nine touchdowns in his first seven games at Temple in 2017. 

Dylan Weigel enters his final season with 325 career tackles, which leads all active FCS players … Weigel is tied for seventh all-time in program history in total tackles and needs 128 total tackles to beak Mario Handerson’s record of 452, which was set from 1994-97. 

JJ Jerman ranks third all-time in Buccaneer history in extra-points (61), fourth in field goals (34) and fifth in scoring (162) … Jerman needs four field goals to beak the program record. 

As a team, the Blue and Gold ranked third in the SoCon in total defense a year ago (345.8). 

Of the 103 players on ETSU’s roster, 43 are from Tennessee, 20 from Georgia, eight from Ohio, seven from Alabama, six from North Carolina and Virginia, five from South Carolina, four from Florida and one each from Connecticut, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas. 


Mars Hill closed out the 2017 season with a record of 3-7 overall, going 1-6 in conference action. The Lions have 13 starters returning for 2018, including All-SAC offensive lineman Brandon Berridge who helped Mars Hill lead the league in passing with 3,029 yards last season. 

The Lions are led by Tim Clfton, who is entering his 25thseason at Mars Hill … Clifton has led Mars Hill to a .500 record or better in 15 seasons, including winning the SAC title and guiding the Lions to their first NCAA post season appearance in 2011 … Clifton has 133 career victories, which ranks second all-time in the SAC 

Mars Hill returns 13 starters from last season (6 offense, 4 defense and 3 specialists), including 38 letterwinners 

Mars Hill was picked to finish tied for seventh in the SAC Preseason Coaches Poll 

On offense, the Lions averaged 413.5 yards per game in 2017 (302.9 passing/110.6 rushing) … Mars Hill averaged 26.7 points per game 

Mars Hill turned the ball over 22 times last season (15 INTs/7 fumbles), while its defense forced 17 turnovers (13 INTs/4 fumbles) – including two touchdowns 

The Lions’ defense allowed 24.4 points and 406.7 yards per game (297.9 passing/108.9 rushing) 

The Lions graduated their starting quarterback (David Salmon) last season … Salmon threw for over 2,700 yards and 23 touchdowns last year (13 interceptions), while completing 57 percent of his passes (180-for-314) … Senior Austin Brown is their top returning quarterback … Brown went 7-for-20 with 150 yards and two interceptions last season … Brown also had 14 carries for 62 yards. 

Craig Rucker and Javon Harbison are the Lions’ top two returning wide receivers from last season … In 10 games, Rucker – a preseason all-conference selection – totaled 52 receptions for 915 yards and six touchdowns, while Harbison posted 25 receptions for 284 yards and one touchdown in 10 games 

Elijah Jett is the top returning running back from last season … Jett totaled 341 rushing yards on 64 carries with three touchdowns … Malik Prescott was the team leader in 2017 with 640 rushing yards on 140 carries with five touchdowns  


Saturday marks the 11th all-time meeting with ETSU holding a 7-2-1 series lead. 

The last meeting came on Sept. 7, 2002, when the Bucs defeated the Lions, 20-10, inside the Dome … ETSU Athletic Director and former fullback Scott Carter had seven carries for 60 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown run … Cecil Moore totaled three catches for 93 yards and a 38-yard touchdown reception … Mars Hill’s last two possessions resulted in interceptions from Allen Davis and Montreal Harkely

The first-ever meeting between the two programs was in 1924 when the Bucs won 30-0. 


Saturday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN+ … Robert Harper will handle the play-by-play duties, while former ETSU quarterback and Hall of Fame member Mark Hutsell will be the color analyst and Kasey Marler will handle sideline reporting. 

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment in conjunction with ESPN. It offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time. 

Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and multiple other sports from more than 15 conferences), exclusive Top Rank boxing, UFC (beginning in 2019), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby, cricket, new and exclusive documentary films and series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. 


The Buccaneer Sports Network (BSN) will provide ETSU fans with complete pregame, in-game and postgame coverage on the radio. Games air live on the Bucs’ flagship station WXSM-AM 640 and affiliate station 104.9 FM NASH ICON.     

The BSN begins its pregame programing one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute long ETSU Football Tailgate Show, followed by the Randy Sanders Pregame Show Powered by Ford which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Appalachian Orthopaedic Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff.       

The broadcast team of “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, color analyst and former ETSU quarterback Matt Wilhjelm, sideline reporter Don Helman, and studio hosts Mike Gallagher and Trey Adams will provide ETSU fans all the information they need to complement their game-day activities.      

At halftime, the crew will have the Zaxby’s Halftime Show, while fans can tune into the General Shale Post Game Show for a full wrap up, with game statistics, players and coach interviews, and other post-game information.       


In addition to following the Bucs on your mobile device and/or tablet with live audio and video, fans can get up-to-the-minute stats by following the action via StatBroadcast. Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices via



Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available … Tickets can be purchased by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at (423) 439-3878, online or on gameday at the ticket gate … Single-game tickets range between $20-30. 


ETSU will head to Knoxville for its first-ever meeting with Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 8 … Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. inside Neyland Stadium.  


For complete information on ETSU Football, follow the program via social media on Twitter (@ETSUFootball), Instagram (@ETSUFootball), Snapchat (@ETSUFootball) and on Facebook (ETSU Buccaneer Football). 

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit and click on the football page.