Not only did quarterback Evan Pittenger and the rest of the Maryville College football team walk away from the homecoming game with a 35-26 victory against Methodist, but Pittenger was also named the USA South Offensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance during the game.
Pittenger, a transfer student from Chattanooga State, is in his second year playing for the Fighting Scots and a junior year physical education with teacher licensure major. Pittenger said he transferred to MC to play football after “getting burnt out” playing baseball at Chattanooga State. He said he has a strong passion for football and, following graduation, he hopes to coach on the collegiate level.
Though relatively new to the team, Pittenger is already proving he’s a key player and leader. Pittenger showcased his skills during the homecoming game, making big plays throughout the contest with both his arm and his legs.The dual-threat quarterback showed his prowess with a 31-yard touchdown strike to fellow teammate Ed Johnson just before the first half came to a close, serving as an exclamation point on his exceptional opening two quarters of football.
As a transfer student, one would imagine it would be difficult to adjust to a new football program and new team members, but Pittenger seems to be doing just fine thus far. Dylan Wolfenbarger, one of the team captains, and preseason second team All-American, commented on the transition to a new program:
“I think the biggest difficulties for new transfers is their ability to transition to our program’s demanding workload, such as our hours spent working out and conditioning, watching film, and attending meetings and practice,” Wolfenbarger said. “However, captains QB Evan Pittenger and DL Zack Capeheart were both transfer players and have transitioned very well to the MC football team. Both players bought in to the demands of the program and are not only successful players on the field, but also respected players off the field, as evidenced by both being voted captains by their peers in only their sophomore year.”
When asked whether or not he expected to be named offensive player of the week following the homecoming game, Pittenger said no.
“I didn’t think about it at all,” he said.
Captains Jamie Owen and Wolfenbarger both agreed Pittenger deserved the recognition for his performance during homecoming.
“Evan is an absolutely great player,” Owen said. “He is going to be something special in the next two years here. He’s a great player who deserves the credit.”
Owen stressed the importance of Evan’s ability to do it all in leading the team to a victory in the homecoming game that earned him the award.
Going into the game, the team expected to win, however, as Pittenger said, ”We knew it was going to be a close game, We knew it was going to be a fight. Methodist is a team that could probably beat anyone in our conference.”
The key to keeping up the winning streak, according to Pittenger, Owen and Wolfenbarger is to maintain their momentum and focus.
“We work extremely hard in the off season, and we expect it to show and pay off during the season,” Owen said.
On the heels of three victories since the breakout homecoming game for Pittenger, the Fighting Scots (6-1) are in first place in the USA South after picking up a victory in their week seven matchup against Christopher-Newport to remain undefeated in conference play.