This football season, Maryville College’s rushing attack has been led by sophomore stud Jacob Bunch, who played high school football at Grainger County in Bean Station, Tenn. At 210 pounds and six foot one inches tall (6’1), Bunch averages 120.4 yards per game and has made 10 touchdowns in the season so far.
When it is time to perform, Bunch does not shy away from the moment—during conference play he has increased his yards per game to 147. To add on to his stellar season, he tied the school record for scores in a game with four rushing touchdowns against LaGrange College on Oct. 26.
“Records are something that come and go, and that is not what is important to me,” Bunch said. “Winning is important to me when it comes to being on the field. I believe that there are many things going on within our program that need to be fixed … Setting records and all that jazz is cool but winning is way more important to me.”
Bunch has his eye on perceived issues for the Scots and their shocking season performance. The Scots are 2-6 on the season, and they look like a completely different team compared to last year, when they won it all in the USA-South Conference and made it to the playoffs.
Even with his talent and rigor, Bunch cannot do it all by himself. In his eyes, he has had help from his four senior offensive linemen, who have played a lot of football together and built good chemistry with each other.Bunch emphasized that his offensive line is a “big factor” in his success. Kyle Larson, Da’vien Montgomery, Zac Layman and Jaden Harris certainly help lead the way for the monster.
Sophomore Jacob Bunch breaks through the defensive line with the end zone in sight. Photo by Savannah Stewart
That said, Bunch made it known that he is a Christian first before he’s a football player, and God is the reason behind all of his success. Coming back from a traumatizing injury that cut his season short last year, God allowed Bunch to heal correctly.
“Hopefully, I am a model of what a Christian life looks like,” Bunch said. The day he tied the school’s record meant a little more to him than the other players.
“On this date [Oct. 26 last year], I broke my leg,” Bunch said. “I had many people tell me there is no way I could be back [by now], but I wanted to prove them wrong.” After the game against LaGrange on Oct. 26 was over, the final breakdown of Bunch’s stats was good. He ran for 171 yards on 27 attempts while averaging 6.3 yards per carry and four touchdowns.
Off the field, Bunch is a very friendly person who is “a firm believer that actions speak louder than words.” Rumor has it that Bunch is also an excellent home chef and likes to make things from scratch, including his own recipes.
His roommates, Caden Harbin, Trevor Thomas, and Haydn Tanner, claim Bunch makes good lemon cookies with homemade lemon icing that has a nice, tart twang to it. They like to joke with him in the room and call him a “grandma in a dude’s body” because of his size, nice personality and desire to cook.
Bunch is also a leader by example, and he is always trying to better himself as a teammate, Christian, friend, and person. He may not say much, but he has the utmost respect amongst his peers.
You can check out Bunch and the Scots football team on the live stream when they travel up north to face conference foe N.C. Wesleyan College on Nov. 16. The Scots team is looking to conclude their season and turn things around as they go forward next year.