- Travis Dockery
Wildcats pounce on Jackets early and often
In an effort to avoid the lingering effects of hurricane Ian, the varsity Yellow Jacket football team swapped Friday night lights for a Thursday night game on Sept.29. Hayesville travelled to the Cherokee County town of Andrews to face the Wildcats. Andrews is considered by many to be the favorite for the Smoky Mountain Conference Championship. Against Hayesville, the Wildcats showed why with a convincing 50-7 win.
Andrews struck first with a touchdown and PAT in the first quarter, but the Jacket defense limited the damage to the one event. However, Hayesville's offense could not find scoring success and the quarter ended with the Wildcats leading 7-0.
The second quarter was an even tug-of-war. Andrews managed to add points to the board but so did the Jackets. Hayesville's score came when senior quarterback Logan Caldwell sophomore receiver Michael Mauney for a Yellow Jacket touchdown. Kicker Isaac Chandler came through with a successful PAT and the first half ended with the Wildcats clinging to a slim 14-7 lead.
After a back and forth first half, Andrews came out in the third quarter like a prize fighter who has spent early rounds studying the opponent and is now ready for the knockout blow. The Wildcats struck for 23 unanswered points to grow their lead to 37-7 by quarter's end.
As far as offense, the fourth quarter also belonged to Andrews. The home team struck for 13 additional points while keeping Hayesville off the board to claim the lopsided 50-7 victory.
"They are a very good team," commented head coach Chad McClure. "We competed well in the first half but had a really bad third quarter and didn't respond to adversity well in the second half."
The Yellow Jackets will look to get back into the win column on Friday, Oct. 7 when they host the rival Murphy Bulldogs. Kickoff is set at 7:30 p.m.
Leaders at Andrews:
Logan Caldwell - 135 yards, 1 passing touchdown, 5 tackles
Michael Mauney - 135 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 7 tackles
Taylor McClure - 15 tackles
Avery Leatherwood - fumble recovery
Kyle Lunsford - caused fumble
Smoky Mountain Conference Standings: