The Transylvania Times -

Tigers Defeat Wildcats On The Road In SMC Opener - Rosman, NC


Last updated 9/25/2017 at 5:29pm

Scotty Ruff

Thomas Collins breaks free on a long run thanks to a block from Brennan Chapman late in the fourth quarter. Collins had a huge night for the Tigers, rushing for 190 yards and one score on 17 carries.

Look out, the Tigers football team is on a winning streak.

Even more important, the Tigers are undefeated in the conference and the two-game winning streak has managed to get the town back out to the games.

One of the biggest away crowds made the trip Friday night to Andrews.

The Rosman Tiger offense, led by quarterback Luke Stewart, looked to be firing on all cylinders in the first half.

Deland Thomas put the Tigers on the board with a eight-yard score.

Blake Sharpe's kick sailed wide right, but the Tigers took a 6-0 lead with 5:31 left in the first quarter.

Thomas Collins fired off the left tackle at the end of the quarter for a long 73-yard touchdown, leaving Andrews' defensive backs in the dust.

The two-point attempt failed, but the Tigers increased the lead to 12-0.

After a long Collins run, Thomas hit paydirt on his second score of the night, this time from just one yard out in a goal line wildcat formation.

The two-point play failed again, but the Tigers went up 18-0 with 7:28 left in the second quarter.

Just before halftime, the Wildcats would go deep with quarterback Dylan Phillips' pass to Matt Barton for a 23-yard score, leading to an 18-7 halftime lead for the Tigers.

Andrews scored again at the 5:50 mark with an Andrew Horton one-yard score. The two-point attempt failed, but Andrews cut the lead to 18-13.

The Tiger defense, led by Jonathan Holiday, Kayne Smith and Hooper Thomas, had two fourth down denials on the Wildcats' offense setting the stage for Stewart and company in the fourth quarter.

Stewart took the Tigers on a promising drive with five plays and 68 yards, but the drive stalled inside the redzone.

The Tigers tried drawing the Wildcats offside, but were forced to call a timeout.

Head coach Matt Stack decided to send Sharpe out for a 28-yard field goal.

Sharpe didn't let his coach down, as he nailed the kick, giving the Tigers a crucial 21-13 lead with 7:59 left in the game.

The Wildcats went to work in the air, and the Tigers looked inspired until an unsportsmanlike penalty aided in the drive against the Tigers.

Andrews would capitalize as Phillips hit Cody Mathis for a 13-yard score, pulling the score to 21-19 with the two-point play lurking.

Hooper Thomas jumped in front of a pass in the flats, knocking it into the Andrews turf.

The Tigers would escape with the win and the start of a two-game winning streak.

"This was a great, hard-fought win," Stack said after the game. "The kids battled in a physical game and they made enough plays."

The Tigers rushed 28 times for 215 yards while allowing 192 yards on 51 carries.

Scotty Ruff

Deland Thomas prepares to stiff-arm a defender as he rushes upfield. Thomas finished with 20 yards on four carries and 25 yards receiving on three catches. He finished the game with two rushing touchdowns.

Stewart passed for 101 yards while Andrews had 192 yards.

Peyton McCall had four punts for 111 yards.

The Tigers leading rusher was Collins with 190 yards on 17 carries.

"Thomas Collins made some big plays in the run game to help put the game away," Stack said. "It wasn't the prettiest win, but a win is a win."

Thomas added 19 yards on just four carries.

The two where also the leading receivers with 25 and 29 yards, respectively.

Holiday recorded 17 tackles while Smith added 11 tackles.

Hooper Thomas finished with 10 tackles and several knocked down passses.

The Tigers improve to 2-4 and 1-0 in the Smoky Mountain Conference.

The Tigers will host Robbinsville Friday night for community night.


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