Super Bowl Hero Flacco Did Not Fare So Well At Chattanooga 5 Years Ago

Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - by John Shearer

Except for being caught on TV excitedly cursing after the Super Bowl victory, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was almost flawless Sunday in being named the MVP and getting a trip to Disney World.

A little more than five years earlier, he did not have quite as good a game in the Football Championship Subdivision title game loss to Appalachian State at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium, however.

But he did get to visit the Tennessee Aquarium on the Wednesday before the game for a team dinner and gathering!

When the University of Pittsburgh transfer and Delaware Blue Hen senior quarterback played against the Mountaineers from Boone, N.C., on Friday night, Dec. 14, 2007, on ESPN2, he was much better known by the NFL scouts than by the average football fan in Chattanooga.

In fact, several scouts were on hand to watch him.

However, players such as ASU running back Kevin Richardson, running Mountaineer quarterback Armanti Edwards and Delaware running back Omar Cuff were flashier fan and media favorites, according to articles in the Chattanooga Times Free Press at the time.

And Mr. Flacco did not do a whole lot in the game to change that perspective. Unlike fellow small college quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw of Louisiana Tech and Steve McNair of Alcorn State when they played UTC at Chamberlain Field in 1969 and 1994, respectively, he did not necessarily look like a can’t-miss pro prospect.

In the game, which was the 11th FCS national title game to be played at Finley Stadium and the third since artificial turf was installed, Appalachian State easily defeated the Blue Hens, 49-21, to claim its third title in a row.

The Mountaineers, who had upset Michigan earlier in the year, had 556 yards of total offense in the victory in front of 23,010 fans.

Although Mr. Flacco’s completion percentage was not great – 23 out of 48 passes – he still managed to throw for 334 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

And one so-so night in Chattanooga did not derail him. With his 6-foot-6 frame and natural and accurate arm, he has since gone on to a very successful NFL career, which culminated with the Super Bowl win over San Francisco.

Among the other well-known personalities who also took part in the national title game when it was in Chattanooga from 1997-2009 were future Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who won in 1997 with Youngstown State; future Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who won with Georgia Southern in 1999 and 2000; and Jack Harbaugh, who won with Western Kentucky in 2002.

Of course, Coach Harbaugh became more famous as the father of this year’s Super Bowl coaches, John and Jim Harbaugh. Jim had actually been on his father’s staff the year before the Hilltoppers won it all in Chattanooga.

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


Friday Night Football Scores: Week Nine

Email your scores to  sports@chattanoogan.com . THURSDAY NIGHT FINAL: Monterey 50 Sale Creek 0 FRIDAY NIGHT FINALS: Copper Basin 38 Lookout Valley 0 4th Quarter Partial Scores: Notre Dame 40 Coalfield 0 Bradley 21 Soddy-Daisy 14 Boyd-Buchanan 24 Sequatchie County 14 3rd Quarter Partial Scores: Rhea county 21 East Hamilton ... (click for more)

CAK Beats Signal Mountain In Class AA Volleyball Final

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – If this was a fishing story, it would be about the big one that got away. Instead, it’s about a state volleyball championship, but it’s still about the big one that got away. The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles lost a heartbreaker to Christian Academy of Knoxville on Wednesday night in the second round of the Class AA division of the TSSAA state tournament. ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pete Carroll’s Philosophy

Pete Carroll, the head football coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a deep belief that he can change people by simply listening to them and then making suggestions on how they can get what they really want. If the people Carroll who can influence win, Carroll wins, and remember his team won last year’s Super Bowl with his methods.   When asked for example, here is what ... (click for more)