- Travis Dockery
Everything you need to know about Hayesville's playoff game
After a convincing round one playoff win, the Hayesville Yellow Jacket football team is set to head to Huntersville to take on Christ the King Catholic High School in round two.
As if playoff football in North Carolina isn't stressful enough, both teams were given another hurdle when the game was moved to Thursday due to the forecasted path of tropical storm Nicole. Dodging the weather eliminated a day of preparation
The Crusaders enter the elimination game with a 9-2 record after defeating Avery County 42-13 in round one. "They have a good running back, good receivers and a good quarterback. They can get it done on the ground and in the air, so we've got a tough task in front of us," said head coach Chad McClure.
For Hayesville, the Yellow Jackets currently sit at 6-5 after their 37-20 playoff win over Alleghany last week. Hayesville will be leaning heavily on quarterback Logan Caldwell. Caldwell has 1322 passing yards with 15 touchdowns, putting him second in the Smoky Mountain Conference. On the ground, Jacket fans can expect to see a lot of junior running back Taylor McClure. McClure is averaging just under 80 yards per game and has crossed the goal line 8 times.
McClure will also be vital on defense thanks to his tackling ability. He leads the team with 117 tackles, including a 26-tackle game against Cherokee. Other's on defense who coach McClure will be relying on are Lane O'dell on the line, Tre Graves pursuing runners and Asher Brown preventing the long ball at safety. Isaac Chandler's kicking leg could be relied on for points while punter Avery Leatherwood could be a tool used to win the field position battle.
Fans who can't make the trip can still cheer on the Yellow Jackets. Christ the King Catholic High School will offer a free live stream of the game at the link below. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.