Warriors and Cavaliers meet on the gridiron Friday
By Andy Southard | September 7, 2018 6:13 am
After opening Region 5-5A play last week, at Summit High School, the White County High School football team will be on the road again this week when they travel to take on one of their archrivals.
The Warriors and Cavaliers are set for another one of the many battles in the history of the two programs.
While this is not a region contest, it has a lot more bragging rights that go to the victor.
The WCHS Warriors and the Cookeville Cavaliers are among the state’s oldest rivalries. While the teams may not have been called the Warriors and the Cavaliers and the school may not have been named Cookeville High School, the schools from the two towns met for the first time, in 1910. The Warriors won that game 12-11, but over the past 20 years, the bragging right has belonged to the team from the north.
Cookeville has won 21 out of the last 22 meetings on the football field between the two rivals. Before that, the Warriors had the upper hand in the rivalry. While complete records aren’t available for the 107 years of the rivalry (scores missing and they didn’t play a few years), the record in the series (as close as can be figured by Pistol) is 34-29-3, with Cookeville holding the narrow advantage.
In what was once a very even battle, things have changed over the past couple of decades. When the City of Cookeville hit a growth surge, so did Cookeville High School. The Warriors have had trouble matching up on the football field with the neighboring Cavaliers, a school that is now twice the size of WCHS.
The lone win in the series in the last 22 years was in 2013 when the Warriors snapped a 17-game losing streak to the Cavaliers with the 13-0 shutout victory. Cookeville has bounced back to win the last four games between the two, including a 49-0 win last year. Since the Sparta win four years ago, the Cavaliers have dominated the match-ups 159-13 and all four games, except for the previous two years, were played in bad weather conditions. Torrential rain hit the area all day three years ago, making for a very muddy field. Four years ago, the game was played on a snowy, bitterly cold night, in Cookeville.
The Cavaliers are 2-1 this season. They opened the season with a 23-7 loss to Upperman. However, they have bounced back to pick up wins over the Warriors’ first two opponents, Livingston Academy and Warren County. In week two, the Cavaliers beat Livingston 28-7, and last week they won 42-3.
Coach Jimmy Maynord, who also coached the Warriors, is the current head coach of the Cavaliers.
So far this season, the Cavaliers’ offense had been a bit balanced. Against Livingston, though, they did find success in the running game. CHS totaled 205 yards on the ground. Eighty-six came from Jaedan McAllister, 60 from Jacob Stamps, and 49 from quarterback Blaine Espinosa. In the passing game, Espinosa was 6 of 11 for 93 yards.
For the Warriors, they have struggled on the offensive side of the ball this season. The Warriors have had one bright spot on the offensive side of the ball, Allen Shoupe, who has led the Warriors’ rushing attack. Last week, Shoupe finished the game with 72 yards rushing. The Warriors, this week, will be looking to sustain drives and try to keep the ball away from Cookeville.
Kick off for the game on Friday night is set for 7 p.m., at Cookeville.