'Almost' Season Continues For Hayesville
The Hayesville Yellow Jacket football team hit the road to Robbinsville on Friday, October, 20 to take on the Black Knights in Big Oaks Stadium. As has been the trend for the Yellow Jackets, a competitive performance ended with a one-score loss.
Robbinsville scored first with a 64-yard touchdown run at the 9:38 point of the first quarter. The 2-point conversion failed, keeping the Knights' lead at 6-0. Exchanges of possessions filled the remainder of the quarter without another score.
Hayesville answered in the second quarter when quarterback Tate Roberts found senior Taylor McClure for a 24-yard touchdown. Isaac Chandler's PAT kick was true, giving the Jackets a 7-6 lead with 9:04 left in the half. Defenses dominated the quarter until the final minute, which was wild. With 52 seconds left before the break, Robbinsville crossed the goal line for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was good and the Knights once again had the lead, 14-7. Hayesville offense fought to get in field goal range with 15.7 seconds left and Chandler capped off the drive with a 31-yard kick.
On the ensuing kickoff, Robbinsville bobbled and the Jackets recovered. With a mere 2.7 seconds left in the first half, Chandler once again trotted onto the field for a field goal attempt. This time, Hayesville's kicker sent a 36-yarder through the uprights to make the score 14-13 with the Knight's holding the slimmest advantage.
The third quarter belonged to Robbinsville with the Knights finding the endzone at the 8:38 and 6:08 marks. Both 2-point conversion attempts failed, putting the Jackets down 26-13 going into the final stanza.
Hayesville showed fight and with 7:19 left in the game, bowling ball Tre Graves busted off a 27-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 26-19. Chandler came on and drilled the PAT, making the score 26-20. Unfortunately for Jacket Nation, Graves' touchdown was the final score of the night and Robbinsville breathed a sigh of relief as they celebrated the win.
The Jackets are now 1-3 in the Smoky Mountain Conference, but have had legitimate chances to win the three games they eventually lost. Knowing Hayesville could easily be 4-0 at this point is both encouraging and heartbreaking for Jacket Nation.
Hayesville's regular season will end Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. when the Jackets welcome the Andrews Wildcats to Frank R. Long stadium. Senior athletes will be honored as part of the night's events.
By the Numbers
Tre Graves: 62 total yards, 5 total tackles, caused fumble, touchdown
Taylor McClure: 45 total yards, touchdown, 7 total tackles
Isaac Chandler: 2 field goals, 2 PATs
Tate Roberts: 72 passing yards, touchdown
Dawson DeVane: fumble recovery, 5 total tackles
Michael Mauney: interception
Cole Vining: 47 total yards, fumble recovery
Will Brown: fumble recovery
Seth Leek: sack