- Travis Dockery
Jackets now 4-0, ranked 11th in North Carolina state rankings
For the second week in a row, the Hayesville Yellow Jackets hit the road to face a non-conference opponent. This time, the Jackets travelled to Chattanooga, TN to take on the Yellow Jackets of Lookout Valley. After a slow start, Hayesville found its offensive rhythm and pulled away for a 43-14 victory. With the win, Hayesville now sits 11th in the MaxPreps North Carolina 1A rankings.
Neither team was able to find scoring success in the first quarter, but in the second, Hayesville was the first to strike thanks to a 29-yard field goal from kicker Isaac Chandler with 9:55 left in the half. After shutting down a Lookout Valley drive, Hayesville again put points on the board with a touchdown pass from Logan Caldwell to Kyle Lunsford.
Later in the quarter, following an interception by junior Ethan Mcguffee, Hayesville capitalized with a touchdown run a few plays later by Dawson Devane. A missed the extra point meant Hayesville had 16-0 with 1:28 left before halftime.
Lookout Valley used a 40-yard touchdown pass for their first score of the evening. A successful 2-point conversion made the score 16-8 as the teams left the field for halftime.
In the third, Caldwell ran a quarterback sneak on a fourth down play put Hayesville in the end zone once again. The PAT was no good and Hayesville held a 22-8 lead with 6:06 left in the third quarter. Hayesville struck again with a 31-yard touchdown run from junior Taylor McClure. This time, the PAT was good and the third quarter ended with Hayesville leading 29-8.
Even though Lookout Valley was able to add to their total in the fourth, it was too little too late as Hayesville also increased the number on their side of the board. Senior Avery Leatherwood snagged a pass from Caldwell for a touchdown and sophomore Michael Mauney pounded his way across the goal line for a Hayesville score. When the horn sounded, the Hayesville Yellow Jackets celebrated a 43-14 win, their fourth of the season.
"We got off to a sluggish start but responded well to some early adversity. Defense played solid most of the game and offensively we were efficient," said head coach Chad McClure. " Special teams was key to winning the field position battle." McClure said the win speaks to the character of his team. "I'm proud of the effort and resiliency the team is showing. A lot of guys are contributing and coming in every day working to improve."
The Jackets will be on their home turf Friday, Sept. 16 for their Homecoming celebration. The Mountaineers from Tuscola High School will be Hayesville's opponent as they look to go 5-0. Tuscola also enters the game undefeated with a record of 3-0.