East Texas Baptist University and Louisiana College’s annual rivalry game on Saturday, November 16, doubled as an opportunity to help needy individuals in central Louisiana.

To help stock Louisiana College’s Blessing Box, the Tiger Football team delivered 13 boxes of non-perishable food items and football fans from both schools gained free admission to Wildcat Field with the donation of canned goods.

“The Blessing Box is a free-standing box containing food and other non-perishables for those in need of support in our local community,” Louisiana College President Rick Brewer said. “It’s a way to give back to our community and enjoy fellowship with our friends and fellow alums. We are genuinely grateful for ETBU’s faithful and faith-filled friendship and we appreciate their support for this initiative.”

Individuals in need in the Pineville, Louisiana community are free to take goods from Louisiana College’s Blessing Box, which is routinely stocked with the items donated by students, faculty, and community members.

Prior to the football game, East Texas Baptist University received word of the food drive and made swift efforts to spread the word about the free admission, and pack 13 boxes of food in honor of ETBU’s 13th President, J. Blair Blackburn.

“We are honored to partner with the Wildcat family in their community ministry outreach to those in need,” Dr. Blackburn said. “While our ETBU Tigers are excited for the annual rivalry game, we know that LC and ETBU are united in our commitment to Christ and building young men and women to transform the world for the glory of God. Regardless of the scores on the scoreboard, Christ is victorious!”

ETBU and LC have been rivals since the 1947, and that rivalry, nicknamed the “Battle of the Border Claw”, has only increased since both schools added football programs in 2000. Despite the spirit of competition surrounding the annual game, ETBU Head Football Coach Brian Mayper says teamwork and a unity in faith are what drive both teams to fulfill God’s mission.

“At ETBU, we strive to create an atmosphere that strengthens and encourages disciples of Christ,” Coach Mayper commented. “We constantly talk about how blessed we are to be able to play a game we love, and to have all the blessings that God has given us. In turn, we are called to give to those less fortunate. God commissions us to be unified as a body of believers, to help and encourage each other. Even though it is a rivalry game, we are all connected as brothers and sisters in Christ.”