Hayesville Hangs With Murphy
On Friday, Sept. 29, the varsity Yellow Jacket football team travelled to Murphy to take on the Bulldogs in the first Smoky Mountain Conference game of the season. Although Hayesville led early, and limited the Bulldogs' scoring opportunities, the Jackets came up short, 21-14.
Jacket Nation had reason to celebrate early on when Tre Graves broke free for an 8-yard touchdown run with 6:29 on the clock in the first quarter. Isaac Chandler's PAT was blocked, keeping Hayesville's lead at 6-0, which is how the quarter ended.
Murphy put points on the board with 9:14 left in the half. The Jackets returned the favor by blocking the PAT and the rivals were knotted up at 6-6. With 6:44 left before halftime, the Bulldogs broke the tie with a touchdown and 2-point conversion which put the home team up 14-6. Hayesville quickly answered when Taylor McClure pounded through the defensive line for a 1-yard touchdown. McClure was also successful with a 2-point conversion run, tying things up 14-14 at the break.
The hard-fought battle continued into third quarter, where both defenses showed their stuff. Murphy was able to find a gap in the Jacket defense for a touchdown and PAT with 8:54 left in the quarter to put the Bulldogs up 21-14. That would prove to be the final score of the game as the defenses again clamped down.
"We had chances," said Hayesville's head coach Chad McClure. While the loss hurts, Jacket fans can be encouraged by the way the team battled. For coach McClure, he knows the team's performance against their rival doesn't necessarily translate to guaranteed success in the gauntlet that is the Smoky Mountain Conference. "Every week will be tough," McClure said.
Hayesville will return to Frank R. Long Memorial stadium Friday, Oct. 6 for a SMC battle with Swain County.
Taylor McClure: touchdown, 89 yards, 8 tackles
Tre Graves: touchdown, 53 yards, 3 tackles
Tate Roberts: 62 yards
Seth Leek: 52 yards, 3 tackles
Will Brown: 4 tackles
Upcoming SMC Games
Swain at Hayesville
Robbinsville at Murphy
Cherokee at Andrews