By Carey Phillips
Coming off its first win of the season, Smoky Mountain’s football team will return home Friday to face Rosman in a non-conference game.
Kickoff time for the first meeting between the schools is 7:30 p.m. at Carr Hooper Stadium/Babe Howell Field.
“Rosman is going to challenge us with their run game,” Coach Ricky Brindley said. “They are going to attempt to line up and control the ball. We’re going to have to do a good job getting their offense off the field and creating opportunities for our offense.”
The Tigers will line up in pro and twin sets offensively and use a 4-4 defense.
Dan Essenberg, former coach at Brevard, is in his second stint as coach of Rosman.
Brennan Chapman is the quarterback. Top running backs include Andrew Stamey and Thomas Collins.
“It’s going to be about us,” Brindley said. “If we can tackle and control the line of scrimmage, I think we will have an opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter.”
The Tigers defeated Madison 40-12 Friday. They lost to Enka (16-0) and Brevard (42-0) in their first two games.
After two close losses, the Mustangs got into the win column Friday with a 49-7 rout at Cherokee. The defense allowed just 16 total yards and no first downs.
“The defense played extremely well,” Brindley said. “We were very aggressive. We made some schematic changes in order to help ourselves on the back end of the defense, and that paid some dividends for us. We were very pleased.”
Dustin Stephens touched the ball five times on offense and scored five touchdowns. He had 271 yards of total offense.
“Dustin is as electric of a football player as I’ve ever coached,” Brindley said. “Anytime he touches it, he has an opportunity to take it to the house. We blocked very well for him.”
Brindley singled out Wyatt Beasley for a “tremendous block” on Stephens’ first touchdown.
Caleb Lominac completed six of nine passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Wilburn also threw a TD pass.
“We need to have confidence in what we are doing and have confidence when we throw the football,” the coach said. “Caleb was able to get it out in space early to Dustin and allow him to do his thing. Both quarterbacks played well.”
Brindley singled out linebacker Cole James for his performance.
“Cole played with great toughness and was very aggressive in what we asked him to do,” Brindley said.
Wide receiver/defensive back Daniel Melton fractured a collarbone in practice last week and is out indefinitely.