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Yellow Jackets face off with the Panthers of Franklin

By Travis Dockery

389 Country Editor

On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the varsity Hayesville Yellow Jacket football team welcomed the Franklin Panthers to Frank R. Long Memorial Stadium for a pre-season scrimmage. A start time of 10 a.m. helped avoid the heat of the afternoon and rain showers predicted for the evening hours.

While the scrimmage was full-contact, the event wasn't played like a traditional game. The two teams exchanged possessions with each team getting a 10-12 play offensive series each time. Coaches were able to set up situations and see how their players executed plays in real-game simulation

(Photo by Travis Dockery / 389 Country) Quarterback Logan Caldwell lines the offense up to attack the Panthers.

Hayesville's offense, led by quarterback Logan Caldwell, was able to find the end zone a trio of times during the 1 hour and 40 minute event. On the defensive side of the ball, the Jackets made several stops with names like Seth Leek and Asher Brown showing off their closing speed.

"I saw a lot of positive things," coach Chad McClure said after the scrimmage. "Of course there's always plenty to work on." McClure went on to say he felt like the Jackets competed well against the a quality Franklin team. "We will go back and look at the film and make some adjustments. We know some things right now that we need to work on, which is why you scrimmage."

From the players prospective, senior tight end Kyle Lunsford was happy to see live action against another team. "Scrimmages are great because it's like a real game, with real speed and real contact," said Lunsford. When asked if he was ready for the kickoff game against Towns County, Lunsford grinned and answered, "Oh yeah. I'm ready."

Noticeably absent from the on-field activity was starting running back Taylor McClure. Recovering from a non-COVID illness, McClure was on the sidelines cheering on his team and discussing the defensive formations of the Panthers.

Looking ahead to the Aug. 19, season-opener against Towns County, coach McClure said, "I really hope our community shows up to support the guys. They are a great group of guys who've worked hard."

Kickoff for the rivalry game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday Aug. 19 in Frank R. Long Memorial Stadium.

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