The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Sports Editor 

Tigers Seek Back-To-Back Wins Over Yellowjackets


September 22, 2016

After running the gauntlet in the early part of their schedule, the Rosman Tigers will look to pick up consecutive victories this Friday as they travel to take on winless Hayesville.

The Yellowjackets (0-4) have played three games against out-of-state competition, and been outscored 130-28 in those games.

They lost at home to Enka earlier this month.

But regular season play in the Smoky Mountain Conference is a different beast, and there aren’t any guaranteed victories.

That being said, the Yellowjackets have certainly taken their licks so far this year.

Hayesville hasn’t gotten much going offensively (12 points per game/222 yards of offense per game) and their porous defense has surrendered an average of six touchdowns and nearly 300 yards of offense per outing.

If there has been a bright spot, it’s been in the running game, where Alan Gillis has scored four touchdowns on the ground and racked up 273 yards rushing.

Rosman (1-3) won’t have to defend much against an aerial attack, as Hayesville has just 371 combined passing yards this season.

Yellowjacket quarterback Kyle Rhinehardt has the majority of those yards (239), but Gillis also has 132 passing yards on nine completions.

Gillis is also the team’s leading receiver, with 94 yards. Brian Smith leads the team with 11 catches.

If you simply go by the numbers, Hayesville and Rosman have found similar success on offense, while struggling on defense.

But the Tigers have played a much tougher schedule than the Yellowjackets.

Offensively, Rosman will look to get their ground game going against a Hayesville defense that gives up an average of 129 rushing yards per game.

The Tigers enter Friday’s game averaging 159 yards on the ground.

Rosman had a breakout game last week against Trinity Academy where they totaled 225 rushing yards ­– including 118 yards from senior Tanner Whitman.

A heavy dose of the run game could allow quarterback Luke Stewart to connect with some of his receivers.

Harper Reese leads all Tiger receivers with 82 yards on eight catches this year, but Rosman has only one passing touchdown so far this season.

One thing that’s been a thorn in Rosman’s side this season has been turnovers.

Last week’s 14-7 victory against Trinity possibly could have come by a larger margin if not for several turnovers that let the Knights stay in the game.

As for Rosman’s defense, Neil Tesnow has led the charge with 24 tackles on the year.

Will Partin has also been a terror in the secondary, recording 19 tackles while picking up one interception and causing one fumble.

While the game certainly seems to favor the Tigers, Hayesville is always a difficult trip to make and Rosman is .500 in their last six road contests against the Yellowjackets.

A win Friday would be the Tigers’ third straight over Hayesville.

As for the roster, Stewart continues to play as he recovers from a pre-season injury, but Deland Thomas has been sidelined all year recovering from off-season knee surgery.

It remains unclear when the Tigers can expect the junior to be back in action.


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