Deflated, defeated, disheartened, ticked off, saddened, and utterly disappointed.
Those are the things the Maryville College Scots are not after a 56-7 loss in Tucker Stadium. In fact, the feelings range from excitement to anticipation.
“Every Saturday, when we walk on the field there’s not going to be any intimidation factor in any of our guys, because we faced the best at every position,” quarterback, Tim Conner said. “It’s really good momentum for us. Our guys are in really good spirits after getting seven, rather than zero.”
Not only did the Scots face the best-of-the-best, but they also improved on them as the game continued. Going from a 28-point first quarter, to actually winning the fourth quarter 7-0, Ierulli says shows the fight in his Fighting Scots.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had more slaps on my back and congratulations after losing 56-7,” head coach, Tony Ierulli said. “They’re usually saying we need to fire this guy, or he’s no good. I just think the way our guys competed; they competed the entire game, didn’t give up, and we finished the game on a high note.”
The fans’ support was evident as the near 3,000 Scots fans that made the trip drowned out Tennessee Tech’s Alma Mater with a rendition of Maryville’s very own. This support and experience is one that Ierulli hopes will shape his teams future. During the game, his philosophy was to get better.
“We met at the end of each quarter, and I said, ‘I don’t worry about what happened in the first quarter. Let’s play the second quarter better, the third quarter better,’” Ierulli stated. “After the third quarter, I told them I wasn’t worried about the score. I just wanted to see how we were going to finish it out. We did well in that fourth quarter.”
In fact, during that fourth quarter, the Scots managed a 14-play, 81-yard drive to hit pay dirt. Connor led the way with a 5-of-7 passing drive for 59 yards, before dashing the remaining 3 yards on the ground. Connor said he just closed his eyes.
“It wasn’t a designed run option,” the red-shirt senior commented. “I was going to try to throw it to Jared Miller, the tight-end, but he was double covered…I just decided to tuck it and run.”
However, something that really excited the team was Bud Christy’s record-breaking interception. Going with the zone blitz, Christy saw his chance.
“I saw the quarterback look to the right, and he threw it to the outside of the guy on a seam route. Luckily, I was just right there to get it,” the All-American defensive back said. “It felt good, and it was actually my dad’s birthday as well. I was glad he was there and got to see it. I was just trying to make a play.”
With his interception against Huntingdon, as well as the snatch against Tech, Christy ties Nick White’s (1993-96) 13 interceptions with a near full season left to add to that tally. Ierulli seems optimistic that he can put the record on the shelf.
“Last year, he was on the same pace,” Ierulli stated. “At the time of his injury last year, I think he was in the top five in the nation in interceptions. This season, he’s got an interception in each game.”
Not only that, but Wesley Idlette has been setting records too. Last year, the All-American receiver snatched the career yardage, leaving a full season to add onto his number.
During the Huntingdon game, Idlette surpassed the career receptions, leaving only the career touchdowns, which didn’t take long.
With an 11-yard touchdown snag against LaGrange, Idlette etched his name onto every career receiving record that Maryville College has to offer, which only leaves time to get better.
With the practice and experience Christy, Idlette, and the other players got by playing Tech, don’t be surprised for an exciting conference season. With Ierulli’s outlook, he joked that his Scots may just take on others such as Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, but that wouldn’t be in the near future.
“It was a unique experience,” Ierulli said. “This may be the only time we ever do something like this, but I just thought we were trying to get our guys to the next level of where this program needs to go. I think the only way to do it is to play a school at the next level.”