TC Roberson’s PJ Deshauters is a Terror on Both Side of the Ball…Smoky Mountain is Next Opponent for Murphy
By Brandon Stephens
(Sylva) – – Dodge trucks are not the only thing that’s Ram tough. Science says a Ram can hit other animals and objects with a minimum of 800 pounds of force (Science File). Every foot-pound of force from the TC Roberson Rams (2-1) was felt by the Smoky Mountain Mustang (1-2) football team on Friday night in Sylva. The Rams held off the Mustangs 35-to-7 for a second win this season with lots of help from Senior Running Back and Outside Linebacker PJ Deshauters, who ran for touchdowns and sacks and hard hits on Mustang ball handlers. TC Roberson had an observable advantage in size and build. When the game kicked off, the advantage in skill and ability was clear.
TC Roberson took the first possession because Smoky Mountain won the toss and deferred possession to begin the second half. TC Roberson only used three plays and a minute and two seconds to carry the ball 58 yards for the first touchdown of the game. The Rams’ Hanson Garcia hit the goal post on his Point-After-Touchdown (PAT) field goal attempt. The Mustangs appeared to be just as tough and daunting as Senior Wide Receiver Da’Mare Williams returned the Rams kick for 87 yards for an answering touchdown. Willaims made the run look easy slicing his way through traffic and heading straight to the end zone. Sawyer Snider parked the point-after-touchdown (PAT) kick to give Smoky Mountain a 7-to-6 lead with 10:31 left to go in the First Quarter. It would be the only time the Mustangs would lead the game.
TC Roberson did not waste time with its possessions to regain the lead and begin a touchdown derby over the Mustangs. Two minutes later and seven plays over 64 yards, the Rams could drive to the 3-yard line and PJ Deshauters would punch the ball into “Touchdown Town.” The Mustangs next possession would be a series of broken plays for loss on carry. A flag on TC Roberson would be the only force moving the ball forward for Smoky Mountain in this series. The Rams and Mustangs would punt the ball back and forth to each other over the next three possessions.
Twice during the Second Quarter TC Roberson would score. Most of the momentum would be charged from carries by Deshauters, Senior Running Back Reno Jeter, and Junior Running Back Zeb Swangim. Senior Quarterback Lex Dinwiddie called his own number several times to gain first down and to score. By halftime the Rams locked horns with the Mustangs and cranked out a 28-to-7 lead.
Smoky Mountain’s initial offensive motion relied on Isaiah McNeely who had some challenging moments against Ram defenders to get past the line of scrimmage. McNeely had most of the hand offs, finally found some positive yards toward halftime with 15 yards on 8 carries. The Mustangs Sophomore Quarterback Kavan Wilson and Receiver Da’Mare Williams were also searching for forward momentum on the pass, which did not manifest many positive yards. By the break and into the third quarter Wilson completed 6 of 13 passes for almost 40 yards. The longer passes went to Junior receiver Jayce Stillwell, who pulled the Mustangs to first down a few times. Wilson was sacked three times for loss of yards.
The Next Game
Smoky Mountain will travel to Murphy (1-1) for a non-conference match up. For 10 years the Mustangs played the Bulldogs without a win from 2005 through 2014. Every Murphy win was by double digits including the last game on record in 2014, where Murphy defeated Smoky Mountain 28-to-14. Murphy and Smoky Mountain are led offensively by Sophomore Quarterbacks; Brady Grant (MHS) and Kavan Wilson (SMH). Smoky Mountain has a more seasoned team with more seniors and experience in skilled positions. Smoky Mountain has been utilizing a shotgun spread offense to move the ball with Junior Running Back Malachi McNeely and Senior Running Back Isaiah McNeely. The Mustangs have threatened opponent with passing to Da’Mare Williams and Jayce Stillwell. The passing game has not been a serious source of success for the offense in the first few games, especially in the 14-to-10 loss to Swain and Friday’s meeting with TC Roberson.
Murphy continues to seek and find success with the run game out of a Wing-T offense. The most recent game with Commerce (GA) was not Murphy’s best showing for offense or defense. The Tigers overpowered the Bulldogs 56-to-13 in Murphy. Commerce was able to rush Sophomore Quarterback Brady Grant and foil the Bulldog’s offensive scheme. Senior Running Back Hunter Stalcup was limited to about 100 yards rushing. The Bulldogs did open the season barking and biting the Franklin Panthers with a 41-to-14 win, where Stalcup scored four times and generated more than 250 yards of total offense.
Murphy will host Smoky Mountain Friday night (September 8th) at Bob Hendrix Stadium/David Gentry Field at 7:30. Stay in touch with Team FYN Sports this week for a preview of these two teams and conversation about the game on Inside the SMC (Smoky Mountain Conference) with Jake West and Brandon Stephens Thursday night (September 7th) at 8PM.