The stage is set for a gridiron clash of epic proportions as the Tuscola Mountaineers prepare to take on the Pisgah Bears in the latest chapter of the storied Tuscola-Pisgah rivalry. As part of the 20th season of the Great American Rivalry Series, this showdown is more than just a football game; it’s a battle for local pride that has been brewing since September 23rd, 1966.

The historic C.E. Weatherby Stadium, nestled in the heart of Waynesville, North Carolina, will once again witness the clash of these titans on October 13th, 2023. The Mountaineers, adorned in their blue and gold, will go head-to-head against the ferocious Bears of Pisgah, who are hungry to reclaim their dominance in the series.

With an all-time series record of 31-27-1, this rivalry has been etched in the annals of high school football history. The intensity is palpable, fueled by the fact that these two schools are located less than 9 miles apart, serving as the sole football representatives of Haywood County.

Rick Ford, the founder and CEO of the Great American Rivalry Series, summed up the anticipation perfectly, saying, “The Tuscola-Pisgah rivalry embodies the very essence of high school football rivalries – fierce competition, unwavering passion, and a deep-seated connection to the community. This game is a testament to the spirit of these two schools and the love their fans have for the sport.”

Last year’s upset victory by Tuscola shattered Pisgah’s 9-game winning streak, setting the stage for a rematch that promises to be nothing short of electrifying. The crowd of approximately 12,000 fans is expected to create an atmosphere like no other, as fans from both sides come together to witness the clash of these gridiron giants.

As the sun sets over C.E. Weatherby Stadium and the battle lines are drawn, the echoes of past encounters and the weight of tradition will add to the intensity of the moment. The Tuscola-Pisgah rivalry isn’t just a game; it’s a celebration of community, competition, and the indomitable spirit of high school football.

We Know Friday Nights, and this one is set to be legendary.


Jed West


Hudson Blackburn


Hudson has been an outstanding athlete for the Mountaineers both on and off the field. He is a North Carolina Academic Scholar, a Morehead-Cain School Nominee, and a Junior Marshal. He has maintained a 4.33 weighted and 4.0 unweighted GPA and plans to pursue his post-secondary education at a 4-Year University to be decided soon.
Matthew Bennett


Matthew is an outstanding student athlete for the Bears. In addition to being a member of the football team, he is also a member of the varsity basketball team all while maintaining an impressive 4.35 GPA. He aspires to be a veterinarian and eventually run his own clinic. Next year he plans to attend North Carolina State University.


In Waynesville, North Carolina tonight, over 14,000 fans piled into the stadium to watch the Mountaineers take on the Bears. Pisgah got on the board after their 1st drive with a nice pass play to get them down the field, but the Tuscola D bowed up and held them to a field goal which left it 3-0 Bears with 8:23 to go in the 1st. Mountaineer QB and eventual game MVP, Jed West, scored on a QB draw from 15 yards out, but the extra point attempt was blocked by Pisgah’s defense, and the Mountaineers took the lead back 6-3. Pisgah drove into the red zone and a 12-yard pass and sliding catch just in bounds after a scramble by the Bears QB, got them the touchdown they were looking for and the extra point made it 10-6 Pisgah with 7:09 left in the half. QB Jed West executed another RPO keeper and plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out and then did it again for a 2-point conversion to put the Mountaineers back on top 14-10 with 3 mins to go in the half. The two teams went into the locker room with that score looking to make some adjustments. The 2nd half started with Tuscola driving and on 4th down from the Bears 35, Mountaineer QB, Jed West almost took a sack and in an impressive play, escaped the rush. After retreating 20 yards away from the rush, he launched a 45-yard bomb to #13 Bryant Oancea who got behind the Bears’ defense and took it to the house to put the Mountaineers up 21-10 with 3:20 to go in the 3rd. Jed West scored his 4th TD of the night (3 rushing and 1 passing) in the 4th to give Tuscola a commanding lead with 2:11 left in the game. Tuscola’s D intercepted the ball with 1:42 left in the game to seal the deal and after taking the "Victory Formation" the Mountaineers ran the clock out for the 27-10 win for the victory, its second year in a row, in this storied Rivalry.