The Transylvania Times -

Tigers Host Yellowjackets For 'Win-And-In' Season Finale - Rosman, NC


November 2, 2017

It’s winner take-all Friday night in Rosman as the Tigers host Hayesville in a game where the victor advances to the playoffs and the loser gets to clean out the lockers for the year.

Rosman (2-8) and Hayesville (2-8) are currently tied for fifth place in the Smoky Mountain Conference.

They both hold conference wins over Andrews, so it all comes down to the regular season finale to find out who will move on.

Rosman Head Coach Matt Stack is excited about playing in a big game and likes how his team matches up with the Yellowjackets.

“Hayesville is a very athletic group, but they do some things that we can take advantage of. This is a playoff game for both us. It’s a big game and the kids know it. At this point in the year it’s not so much what the other team is going to do as it is what your team is going to do. So we’ve just got to step up and play four quarters,” Stack said.

The Yellowjackets haven’t had much success on offense this season, averaging less than two touchdowns per game.

Their passing game is limited and they rely mostly on the rushing attack, which is led by seniors Brian Smith and Colton Thomas, who have over 600 yards and five touchdowns combined on the year.

Slowing down that run game and forcing Hayesville into long down scenarios are what Stack emphasized for the defense.

“Just like every Friday, we need to stop the run first. In our secondary we’ve had one good, then one bad game. We’re getting better at that position and we really need to seal that up,” he said.

As far as the Tiger offense, Stack said he feels his side can create some challenges for Hayesville by using some creative formations. He also wants to get back to the up-tempo offense he feels is what his team does best.

“(Hayesville) runs a very similar defense to what we do. So, I think the kids will be accustomed to seeing it. I think we can give them some problems with some of our formations. And also our tempo – the faster we go the better we are. I think we proved that against Murphy. When we went ultra fast we put up three quick scores and hopefully we can carry that momentum forward,” Stack said.

Over the past month, Rosman has faced the top teams in the SMC and while the outcomes of those games haven’t gone in the Tigers’ favor, Stack said those games were closer than the final score would indicate and isn’t discouraged by his team’s play.

“The games we have played, the score has not reflected the football games. We’ve turned the ball over entirely too many times during those four games and in two of games, if we don’t turn the ball over, we have the chance to win those games. You’ll see the final score where we lost by three touchdowns, but we really gave away three touchdowns. I think our defense has progressed just about every week. It’s been a lot of holding teams to third-and-long or fourth-and-long and just not being able to get off the field,” Stack said.

All that being said, the Tigers’ current record doesn’t mean anything.

It’s all about Friday night.

They’ve weathered the toughest part of their schedule and are now in position to control their own destiny.

Seizing the moment and taking full advantage of that situation are what Stack said he was going to impress upon his team before they take the field.

“Very rarely, do you get to determine your own destiny and that’s the opportunity that these kids have. They will get to play this game as long as they want to this year. Win and keep playing. That’s totally on the kids and that’s what they have to understand. They have the opportunity to control their future and you can’t ask for anything better than that going into the end of the year,” Stack said.


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