The Transylvania Times -

Tigers Face Black Knights Looking For Third Straight Win - Rosman NC


September 27, 2018

After back-to-back wins, including a big victory over Andrews in the conference opener, spirits are high in the Rosman Tiger locker room.

The Tigers are coming off their best offensive performance of the season and currently sit atop the Smoky Mountain Conference standings, along with three other teams.

After starting the year with four losses, Rosman, and head coach Matt Stack, couldn’t be in a better position.

“Starting out 1-0 in conference is right where we want to be. It’s good to start off on the right foot. The kids played well. We’re starting to get healthy and get a few guys back. I was proud of their effort Friday against a good football team and, hopefully, our kids will start believing in what they can do and continue to get better,” Stack said.

While there is plenty of reason for excitement, Rosman can’t rest on their laurels, and the Tigers will face a tough road test this Friday night when they travel to take on Robbinsville.

The Black Knights (3-2) are coming off a 27-14 home loss to Murphy, but defeated Rosman last year, 38-12.

Robbinsville’s style has changed much since 2017. They have a pair of quality running backs – Rylee Anderson and Lex Hooper – that they like to feed, and have three receivers they like to spread the ball to on the outside.

Stack said preparing for the Black Knights is important, but the biggest challenge will be executing, particularly on the defensive side.

“We have to tackle well. They’ve got two of the best running backs we’ve seen and they’re very well coached. We almost know what they’re going to run before they run it. We just have to stop it. Tackling in space is big, because they’re backs like to get to the outside,” he said.

Together, Anderson and Hooper have 999 rushing yards and 19 TDs.

But the Tigers’ offense isn’t too shabby either, and Rosman will try to keep up the momentum from their 46-point output against the Wildcats.

Luke Stewart had a big night through the air and one the ground, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and rushing for one.

The offensive line won the battle in the trenches, as Marcus Stamey rushed for a season-high 137 yards and three scores.

Much like Stack isn’t expecting Robbinsville to move away from what’s been working for them, the Tigers plan on sticking to their game plan, as well.

“The big thing is, don’t fix something that’s not broken. Four weeks straight, we’ve done well on offense. We just have to limit turnovers and get the ball in our playmakers’ hands. Up front, we have to push people around. If our offensive line can block well, we’re going to win the game,” Stack said.

If the Tigers are able to pick up the win, it would be the first time they’ve beat the Black Knights since 2011 and it would mark their first three-game winning streak since 2015.

So far, no SMC team looks like the clear favorite to run away with the conference title.

And while the season started slow for the Tigers, Rosman could be hitting their stride at just the right time to make some noise in conference play.

“Robbinsville is going to be a battle. We have to compete with them and be in a position to win it at the end. Looking at the conference, nobody is blowing other teams out. It’s pretty even across the board. I expect to compete with every team in the conference. Anything can happen on a Friday night. We just have to give ourselves a chance,” Stack said.


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