JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Saturday afternoon will provide one last shot for ETSU football to add another notch to the win column in 2023.
It will be Senior Day for a handful of Blue and Gold players against a struggling squad at The Citadel. The Bulldogs are winless so far this fall, carrying an overall record of 0-10.
Still head coach George Quarles knows the visitors will have this circled as a good chance to end their winless streak.
“I think both teams are looking forward to this game,” he told reporters Monday. “They’re going through growing pains just like we have, I guess.”
Nobody in Johnson City planned for a season like this, but the Bucs know there’s a chance to finish the year with a statement – one that could carry some momentum into winter workouts.
And the whole program is rallying around one word.
“I think the big word is finish,” Quarles said. “You know, you got to finish what you started. That’s been my message to our guys. And not just finish it, but finish it the way you’re supposed to finish it with great effort, great energy.”
“I think getting the win here on this last one is going to, you know, maybe give us a little more extra motivation going into the offseason, going into offseason workouts and whatnot,” redshirt-junior offensive lineman Chris Everhart said.
Quarles and Everhart touched on the importance of grabbing one last win for a dedicated senior class that includes guys like Will Huzzie and Stephen Scott.
But, Scott wants to win to set an example for the players that will remain in JC after his time is done.
“For the younger guys, I feel like it’s really important just to finish,” the senior linebacker said. “You don’t come all this way, you know, to just roll over cause times are tough.”
After starting much of the second half of the season at quarterback, redshirt-freshman William Riddle split time with junior Haynes Eller in the loss to Western Carolina.
“He does everything you want a kid to do, meaning he comes in early and stays late,” Quarles said of Riddle. “He works so hard – just sometimes gets in the game and the game gets going too fast for him.”
Quarles continued, noting Eller’s physical advantage over Riddle.
“A little better arm,” he said. “But, clearly we need better at that spot.”
Quarles said the team’s sixth quarterback – redshirt-sophomore transfer Drew Gregg – could also see time under center.
Kickoff from William B. Greene Jr. Stadium is set for 1 p.m.