September 01, 20221st2nd3rd4thFinal
Mars Hill00707
1st Quarter
ETSUTD10:35Jacob Saylors 40 Yd Run (TEAM missed kick)
ETSUTD05:23Jacob Saylors 29 Yd Pass From Tyler Riddell (Tyler Keltner kick)
ETSUTD03:01Jacob Saylors 1 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
2nd Quarter
ETSUTD05:10Will Huzzie 17 Yd Pass From Tyler Riddell (Tyler Keltner kick)
ETSUTD04:56Alijah Huzzie (Tyler Keltner kick)
3rd Quarter
ETSUTD08:07Will Huzzie 26 Yd Pass From Tyler Riddell (Tyler Keltner kick)
MHUTD03:23Ty Snelson 5 Yd Pass From Jimmy Urzua (Andre Labat kick)
ETSUFG02:08Tyler Keltner 44 Yd
Stats at a GlanceMHUETSU
1st Downs1616
3rd Down Conversions3-164-13
4th Down Conversions2-30-1
Passing (Comp-Att)244 (21-49) 197 (14-26)
Rushing (Att)18 (21) 107 (36)
Total Yards262304
Fumbles Lost10
ETSU football opens 2022 season Thursday night
ETSU football opens 2022 season Thursday night
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Bucs host Mars Hill under the lights in Greene Stadium

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 31, 2022) – Coming off a season to remember a year ago, the ETSU football team opens a new era on Thursday night when the No. 11 Buccaneers host Mars Hill. Kickoff for the 2022 season opener is set for 7:30 p.m. inside William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. 


Date: Thursday, Sept. 1

Location: Johnson City, Tenn. | Greene Stadium

Teams: #11 ETSU (0-0) vs. Mars Hill (0-0)

Weather: High: 87; Low: 64; Sunny

Live Stats: (StatBroadcast)

Live Video: ESPN+

TV Crew: David Jackson (play-by-play); Mark Hutsell (analyst)

Live Audio: WXSM-AM 640 |104.9 NASH ICON

Radio Personnel: Jay “Voice of the Bucs” Sandos, Matt Wilhjelm (analyst), Robert Harper (sideline), Don Helman (stats)

Twitter: @ETSUFootball

Game Sponsor: Tommie’s Plumbing



  • ETSU Athletics will be hosting Teacher Appreciation Day at Thursday’s game where free admission will be given to all grade school faculty and staff with Valid ID (limit one pass per family). 
  • In addition to teacher’s appreciation day, ETSU will kick off the season with a post-game fireworks show presented by Pepsi. Fans are reminded that fireworks and the cannon will be utilized during Thursday’s game and that there will be a postgame firework display. 
  • ETSU will have a DJ with live music on the Pepsi Stage at Lot 21 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
  • 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. 
  • Click here for a full listing of Things to Know for Thursday’s opener. 


Following the successful 2021 fall campaign, former ETSU Head Coach Randy Sanders stepped down from coaching the Buccaneers, ushering in a new era in the form of George Quarles. Christmas came early for the Quarles family on Dec. 23 when Coach Quarles was officially announced as the 19th head coach in ETSU football history. 

“We are hoping to build onto the championship culture that has already been established,” said Coach Quarles. 

The Tennessee native is no stranger to the East Tennessee region nor the Southern Conference. Quarles arrives in Johnson City having been on staff at Furman for the last five seasons, serving as the Associate Head Coach. During his time with the Paladins, Quarles has overseen two FCS Playoff appearances in 2017 and 2019, in addition to a share of the regular-season SoCon Championship in 2018. Regarding his ties to Tennessee, Quarles has been inducted into both the Tennessee Football Coaches and Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association Halls of Fame in 2018. In addition, Quarles has been inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. 

Quarles, a graduate of Furman, spent 22 seasons at Maryville High School in Maryville, Tenn. where he accumulated a record of 250-16 (.939) making him one of the most successful prep coaches in the United States. Quarles is the fastest coach in U.S. high school football history to reach 200 wins and successfully led Maryville to 11 state championships in his 18 years as the head coach. 


George Quarles was named the 19th head coach in program history on Dec. 23, 2021 ... Coach Quarles is looking become the 11th coach in program history to win his ETSU debut - joining the ranks of Randy Sanders (also against Mars Hill on Sept. 1, 2018), Paul Hamilton, Mike Cavan, John Robert Bell, Star Wood, Hal Littleford, L.T. Roberts, Gene McMurray and J.K. Luck. 


The Buccaneers open their 88th season in program history on Thursday ... In the previous 87 openers, ETSU went 43-41-3 ... The Blue and Gold defeated Vanderbilt 23-3 in last year’s season opener and are 5-2 in season openers since restarting the program in 2015.


Since 1990, ETSU has played four times on Sept. 1 with the Bucs splitting the contests ... ETSU defeated Mars Hill 28-7 in 2018 and defeated Catawba 42-0 in 1994 ... The Bucs fell 31-0 at Pitt in 2001 and 34-24 at Appalachian State in 1990.


The Bucs were picked to finish second in the SoCon Preseason Polls, while 10 ETSU players earned preseason all-conference honors, including running back Jacob Saylors – who was tabbed SoCon Preseason Offensive Player of the Year … Mike Price and Tyler Riddell were among the 10 Bucs to earn preseason accolades … The second-place selection matches the highest preseason selection for the Bucs since being picked second by the league coaches in 1998 and second by the media since 1997. 


The Bucs boast a .750 winning percentage when playing in the friendly confines of William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium ... Entering its sixth season of existence, Greene Stadium has held 21 wins for the Blue & Gold, while yielding just seven losses ... The Bucs finished with a perfect 7-0 record at home last season, becoming one of 17 FCS programs to go undefeated at home last year ... ETSU finished 4-2 inside Greene Stadium in its first season in 2017, following that season up with a 5-1 home mark in 2018. ETSU finished 3-3 at home in 2019 with wins over Shorter, Austin Peay and Mercer ... The Bucs competed in three games inside Greene Stadium during the 2021 spring season ... During that three-game span, ETSU finished with a 2-1 record ... In the 28 games played inside its home, ETSU is outscoring the opposition, 827-586, holding its foes to 20.9 points per contest. 


The Bucs are 8-1 in night games inside Greene Stadium … The lone setback was a 31-24 overtime loss to VMI on Sept. 14, 2019. 


After finishing last season ranked No. 7 in the final AFCA Coaches Top 25 Poll and No. 9 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25, the Bucs enter 2022 ranked No. 11 in both preseason polls ... ETSU was the highest ranked SoCon team in each poll with Chattanooga coming in at No. 12 and Mercer at No. 23 in the Stats Perform Poll ... In the AFCA Coaches Poll, Chattanooga was No. 13 and Mercer was No. 23. 


Senior running back Jacob Saylors racked up a plethora of preseason accolades, starting with being tabbed Southern Conference Offensive Preseason Player of the Year ... Saylors then earned Preseason All-American honors by Stats Perform FCS at the all-purpose position ... A day later, Saylors was named to the Walter Payton Award Preseason Watch List ... Saylors tallied 1,882 all-purpose yards in 2021 -- posting 1,019 rushing yards, 720 kickoff return yards and 143 receiving yards -- along with registering 11 total touchdowns (10 rushing/1 receiving) ... Saylors averaged 7.1 yards per carry and 28.8 yards per kickoff return in 2021 ... The 28.8 yards per return ranked second-most all-time by a Buccaneer and his 7.1 rushing yards per carry ranked fourth all-time ... For the season, Saylors had 10 games where he totaled over 100 all-purpose yards in 2021, including a season-high 337 yards in the win over Western Carolina, including a single-game program record 266 rushing yards ... Following the 2021 season, Saylors was named second team All-American by the Associated Press and third team All-American by Stats Perform FCS. 


ETSU junior offensive lineman Tavon Matthews was named Preseason All-American by HERO Sports ... Matthews, a Southern Conference preseason first team selection, started in 12 games for the Buccaneers during their 2021 campaign where ETSU finished 11-2, won the conference championship and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs ... The Woodbridge, Va. native aided in blocking for one of the most historic running seasons in program history with 2,775 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns. Matthews blocked for ten 100+ yard rushing games, including six games over 200 yards on the ground .... During his time in the ETSU starting lineup, the Bucs’ biggest output on the ground was 461 yards and six touchdowns against Western Carolina (Nov. 13), while Matthews helped block for five rushing touchdowns against The Citadel (Oct. 9). 


ETSU returns 37 lettermen from a year ago, including seven starters on both sides of the ball. Senior running back Jacob Saylors was tabbed SoCon Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while the Bucs had 10 players earn preseason all-conference honors two weeks ago at Media Day. 


ETSU is 15-1 when scoring at least 30 points since restarting the program in 2015 … ETSU has won its last 11 games when scoring at least 30 points following the lone setback at Furman on Sept. 30, 2017. ETSU has recored 30-or-more points on seven occasions this season. 


Last season, ETSU finished the year ranked second nationally among both FBS and FCS programs in stadium percentage capacity (123.6) ... ETSU only trailed Merrimack in the category as they averaged 138.9 over capacity in a 4,860-seat stadium ... Last season saw the Bucs eclipse 10,000 fans three times, including a stadium record 10,594 in the SoCon Championship win over Mercer on Nov. 20 ... Last season, ETSU set four stadium crowd records, while overall, the Bucs have totaled 19 sellout crowds in the 28 home games inside Greene Stadium. 


  • Mars Hill is coming off a 2021 season where the Lions went 8-3 overall and 6-2 in conference play … After opening the season 2-2, the Lions won six of their last seven games, marking Mars Hill’s first winning season since 2015 (6-5) and matching the most wins since 2011 when the Lions won the SAC Championship and made an NCAA postseason appearance 
  • The Lions had one of the top defensive units in 2021 allowing just 292.1 yards per game and 211 points, thanks in part to the dynamic duo of linebackers Dexter Fitzpatrick and Landon Honeycutt, who are both preseason All-SAC picks on defense 
  • On offense, the Lions had the third-best passing offense in the SAC in 2021, averaging 252.3 yards per game in the air 
  • Mars Hill is ranked No. 4 in the South Atlantic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll 
  • The Lions averaged 32.1 points per game and allowed 19.2 points per contest 
  • To go with the 252.3 pass yards per game in 2021, Mars Hill rushed for 156.4 yards per contest, averaging 408.6 yards of offense per game 
  • Mars Hill turned the ball over 12 times in 2021 – six interceptions and six fumbles – while the Lions’ defense forced 21 takeaways – 13 INTs and eight fumbles 
  • Defensively, Mars Hill held the opposition to 70.4 rushing yards per game last season and just seven rushing touchdowns 
  • The Lions return their top two running backs from last season in Joraye Morrison (623 rushing yards, 8 TDs) and Lafayette Gurvin (374 rushing yards, 2 TDs) 
  • Mars Hill also returns starting quarterback Jimmy Urzua – who threw for over 2,600 yards and 24 touchdowns, but only completed 49 percent of his passes (169-for-345) 
  • The Lions top returning receiver is tight end Ty Snelson who totaled 32 receptions for 545 yards and a team-high nine receiving touchdowns (10 total) … Mars Hill will have to replace CJ Thompson (45 catches, 768 yards, 7 TDs) and Marquise Williams (39 catches, 641 yards, 5 TDs) 
  • On defense, Tristan Rankin returns after registering eight interceptions (led the country) and taking two to the house in 2021 … To go with his eight INTs, Ranking also totaled 40 tackles and three tackles for loss 
  • Linebackers Dexter Fitzpatrick and Landon Honeycutt, who were preseason all-conference picks, are the top two returning tackles leaders from a year ago as they combined for 180 tackles, 21.5 TFLs and 14.5 sacks … Honeycutt led the team with 105 tackles, while adding 9.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks … Fitzpatrick posted 75 tackles and team highs in TFLs (12.0) and sacks (9)


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

BSN begins its pregame programing one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute Tennessee Lottery Tailgate Show, followed by the George Quarles Pregame Show presented by Tommie’s Plumbing which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Appalachian Orthopedic Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff.     

 The broadcast team of “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, color analyst Matt Wihljelm, sideline reporter Robert Harper and stat-man Don Helman will provide ETSU fans all the information they need to complement their game-day activities.

At halftime, the crew will have the Mr. Electric Halftime Show, while fans can tune into the Mullican Flooring Post Game Show for a full wrap up, with game statistics, players and coach interviews and other post-game information.  

Thursday’s game will also be broadcast on the ESPN+ with the team of David Jackson (play-by-play) and Mark Hutsell (analyst).


Fans can purchase tickets for the 2022 season opener vs. Mars Hill in addition to season tickets online. For more information, click here. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at 423-439-3878. Students can pick up their tickets all week at the Carrier Center located on the second floor of the Culp Center or at the gate on gameday.

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