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PREVIEW: Riverdale vs. Oakland (TN): “Battle of the Boro”

August 23, 2013

MURFREESBORO, TN – The Riverdale Warriors and the Oakland Patriots will once again meet in the annual “Battle of the ‘Boro” on Thursday, August 22 at 7 p.m. Over 8,000 fans are expected at Tomahawk Stadium for the season-opening game that’s part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

Since the “Battle of the ‘Boro” began in 1974, the Warriors have controlled the series 31-11 with wins in 13 of the last 15 meetings. However, the Patriots won last season’s meeting 17-14.

Coach Ron Aydelott’s Riverdale team, which finished 9-4 last season, won’t have the luxury of three-year starting quarterback Dillon Woodruff. The Furman signee threw for 1,300 yards and ran for 500 more after tearing his ACL as a junior. But they will have the luxury of a senior-laden offensive line, which will attempt to make holes for senior back Mariko Odom, who had nearly 900 total yards in just four games before a season-ending injury. Junior Chanton Pace and sophomore Marquis Cantrell will attempt to fill the gap under center.

Oakland, coached by Thomas McDaniel, went just 6-5 last season, but expectations are high with the return of a couple of standout players. Senior – and Vanderbilt signee – Emmanuel Smith led the team in passing (628 yards), rushing (777), and was third in receiving (107) last season. He will move to receiver after starting under center the past two seasons.

Senior Rhett Stacey (376 yards and four TDs last season) will be moving into the starting quarterback spot for the Patriots, while senior Fred Wade (590 yards and six TDs as a sophomore) will return to the backfield after missing his junior season with a torn ACL. Senior Darryle Hood Jr. ran for 735 yards and 11 TDs last season, while junior Kyle Oliver led the team with 395 receiving yards and five TDs.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.