Smoky Mountain’s Darien Bird scores on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Chris Wilburn in Friday’s 24-21 loss.

Connor Hyatt caught a pass for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown and recovered a fumble on consecutive scrimmage plays Friday helping Swain to a 24-21 non-conference football victory over Smoky Mountain in Bryson City.

Hyatt hauled in a 76-yard scoring strike from Damian Lossiah with 3:34 left in the game. It came just three plays, including a 15-yard scramble by Lossiah, after the Mustangs (0-2) had taken the lead.

On the first play after the kickoff, Hyatt recovered Dustin Stephens’ fumble at the SM 49 allowing the Maroon Devils to run out the clock.

Lossiah completed six of 13 passes for 168 yards. He also carried 15 times for 103 yards and a score.

Bryce Sain led the Swain running attack with 127 yards and a TD in 19 carries.

Stephens topped the Mustangs with 111 yards and two TDs in 19 attempts. He also caught three passes for 42 yards.

Will Frady had 18 carries for 76 yards.

Chris Wilburn came off the bench to complete four of eight passes for 69 yards and a TD.

The Mustangs took a 21-17 lead on Stephens’ 8-yard run with 4:37 on the clock. Hunter Pressley kicked his third extra point. The 65-yard drive took seven plays, including Stephens’ 30-yard run and his 15-yard catch of Wilburn’s pass.

Trailing 10-7, SM’s defense got a three-and-out to start the second half.

The Mustangs then marched 61 yards in 14 plays to take their first lead. Frady had a 10-yard run followed by an 8-yard gain to convert a fourth-and-3. Stephens scored from the 5 giving SM a 14-10 advantage with 3:35 to play in the third quarter.

The Devils answered with a 62-yard drive in 10 plays. Lossiah completed passes of 13 and 15 yards to Donnavin Groenewold. The later of those was on a fake punt to convert a fourth-and-6. Sain gained 10 yards before Lossiah’s 24-yard TD run on third-and-7 giving his team a 17-14 edge with 10:31 to go in the game.

Swain dominated most of the first half, including a 75-yard scoring drive in nine plays on its first possession. Lossiah completed passes of 10 yards to Hyatt and 49 yards to Gaige Jones, and Sain had a 16-yard run. Sain scored from a yard out, and Gavin Lanning kicked the first of his three extra points for a 7-0 lead with 5:24 remaining in the opening period. The Mustangs drove to their 30 before being stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1.

Sain ripped off a 46-yard run on the next play, and Lossiah gained 16 for a first-and-goal at the 5. When the defense stiffened, Lanning kicked a 20-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 9:58 left in the half.

The Devils threatened late in the half but were stopped on downs at the 26.

Working against the clock, SM covered 74 yards in seven plays, including runs of 17 yards by Frady and 16 yards by Stephens, Wilburn’s 37-yard TD pass to Darien Bird cut the gap to 10-7 with 19.6 seconds to go in the half.



13First Downs17



87Passing Yds.168