The Transylvania Times -

Braves' Late Charge Denies Tigers First SMC Victory


October 7, 2019

Thomas Collins had a huge night running the ball for the Tigers, amassing 183 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

Friday night's trip to the reservation was a tale of two halves for the Rosman Tiger football team.

The Tigers stormed out of the gate in the first half and did as they wished, with Rosman racking up 245 yards on the ground.

The Braves had no answer for Tiger running back Thomas Collins.

However, the second half was all Braves as they made adjustments and the Tigers could not keep the same momentum going on the ground.

Rosman managed only 40 yards in the second half and some crucial turnovers doomed the Tigers at the end of the game, resulting in a 42-21 loss.

Right out of the gate, the Tigers looked to run on the Braves and on the third play from scrimmage Collins used his speed to put the Tigers on the board.

The 55-yard TD run put the Tigers up 7-0 with 10:59 still on the clock.

Andrew Stamey jumped on a Tiger onsides kick and the Rosman looked to be in business, but a block in the back doomed the Tigers' drive and left the score 7-0 at the end the quarter.

The Tigers struck again to start the second quarter.

Quarterback Brennan Chapman ran a keeper around the left tackle on an option for a 44-yard touchdown.

The PAT gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 11:52 left in the second quarter.

The Braves had success in the air on the next drive and Braves quarterback Bobby Crowe would dive in from one-yard out to cut the Tigers lead to 14-7 with 8:27 left in the half.

The Tigers went to the option and Collins would make a few Braves miss on his way to a 45-yard touchdown. The PAT put the Tigers up 21-7 with 2:36 left in the half.

The Braves once again hit several big pass plays before a long 30-yard TD pass put the Braves on the board just before the half and cut the Tigers' lead to 21-14.

The Tigers went to the well again on another onsides kick to start the second half.

The ball bounced up, with the two Tigers fighting for it. They both missed and the ball bounced into the arms of a Braves' defender, who took it to the house to open the second half up with a score.

The result would tie the game up 21-21.

The Braves guessed the Tigers' cadence and were in Rosman's backfield the rest of the game. The score remained tied throughout the third quarter.

The final quarter was all Braves as they scored three times on two long runs and one on a 50-yard passing touchdown, as the Tigers 'hopes fell in the night 42-21.

During his Saturday morning interview with the Tigers Sports Radio team at Riverbend Lodge, head coach Dan Essenberg talked about how much this game stung.

Carson Lyday shakes a Cherokee defender during a kickoff return in Friday night's contest.

"It hurts. On paper they are better than us. Heck, everyone we play is going to be better than us. We played hard last night. That's the hardest we played all year. It's a building process for the bunch. If we played this hard week one, where would we be today? We made mistakes and those mistakes killed us. Our kicking game is killing us. We didn't kick it deep because, when we do, they return it. The onside kick in the second half broke our back. The ball is not round; it doesn't bounce straight. Our hurts need to hurt a bit more than they do. We are not where we want to be with our program where we expect to win," Essenberg said.

The Tigers rushed for 285 yards and added one pass for seven yards while the Tiger defense gave up only 109 yards in the first half, but the big plays in the second half added up to 161 yards for a total of 270 yards.

Collins carried the heavy load for the Rosman offense, finishing with 183 yards and two TDs on 20 carries. Chapman added 69 yards and one score on three carries.

With the loss, the Tigers fall to 1-6 on the year and 0-2 in the SMC.

Rosman returns home this Friday to host Swain County (6-0).


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