Relive The Wildcats SMC Championship Win With This Free ReplayTeam FYN Sports November 2, 2022
Watch Andrews and Murphy battle it out for the Conference Championship here:
Cats Dethrone The Knights, SMC Title Game AwaitsTeam FYN Sports October 25, 2022
Wildcats Beat Robbinsville, Conference Title Game Awaits
Andrews, Nc- It’s been a long time coming, but the Andrews Wildcats will be playing for a Smoky Mountain Conference Championship this Friday night at David Gentry Field in Murphy.
Their last stepping stone to get to the title game was a heavy weight bout vs Robbinsville in which the Cats took care of business as they dropped the Knights by a score of 28-12.
The statistical box score is incomplete for the Wildcats, but its clear that their defense deserves the recognition as they held Robbinsville to just 189 yards of offense. The Wildcat’s defense was able to get in on the scoring as they were able to pick off Bryce Adams for a Pick 6. QB Donovan Bateman had a solid outing as he was 9/13 for 169 yards and a touchdown. RB Austin Martin also had a good game as he ran for 77 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.
As for Robbinsville, their offense never got going in this one. Bryce Adams and Roman Jones combined for just 21 passing yards. Cuttler Adams had a solid showing with 155 yards on 16 carries and was able to score both of the Knights touchdowns. Cuttler Adams also was tied for the team lead with 11 tackles.
As mentioned, the Wildcats will have a shot at an undefeated regular season and a conference title next week as they travel to Murphy to take on the Bulldogs. As for the Knights, they will travel to Hayesville to take on the 5-4 (1-3) Yellowjackets, as Robbinsville looks to finish third in the conference.
“For #7” Andrews Dedicates Historic Win To Lost TeammateTeam FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports November 1, 2021
Andrews, NC- Tears and cheers came from the bleachers as the clock hit double zeroes Friday night in Andrews. The Wildcats finally got the monkey off their back.
Not only did Andrews defeat Murphy for the first time in 4 decades, they did it on senior night, and in a pretty dominant fashion.
The Wildcats trailed 12-7 to start the third quarter, but it always seemed like they were in control. Austin Martin gave Andrews the lead on the Cats opening drive of the second half, and they never looked back. The defense didn’t allow a single point in the second half, and Isaac Weaver tacked on a late 4th quarter TD to put the game away.
This win meant so much for so many people in the community of Andrews. Former players, coaches and life-long fans had been waiting patiently for this moment. Even the mayor, James Reid, was jumping up and down on the sidelines with excitement! As much as it meant to the fans and the community, it meant a little more for the boys who had the pads on.
Gage Runge wore #7 for the Wildcats in honor of his friend and teammate Connor Pressley, who lost his life in a car wreck last year. Pressley would’ve been a senior on this Wildcat football team.
“It’s an honor to be able to wear this jersey and honor him tonight,” Runge said as he teared up. “That’s what we did, we came out here and honored him and made him proud. I felt like he was with me every play. Every step of the way he was with me.”
After the game was over and James Phillips had given his post-game speech, the Wildcats broke the huddle by shouting, “for number 7.”
The Wildcats are obviously going to celebrate this win and relish in the moment as they should, but they aren’t satisfied yet. Junior Running Back Austin Martin said, “We’ve just gotta be ready. We’ve gotta reset and be ready for whatever is up next (in the playoffs).”
Up next for the Wildcats will be a home playoff game for the first time since 2015. They will host Bishop McGuinness this Friday night at 7:30.
Who knows what the playoffs will bring for the Wildcats. Maybe they can make a deep run at a state or region title and add some hardware to that trophy case before school consolidation takes it away. One thing is for certain, they are playing with a purpose and peaking at the right time.
Andrews Wildcats Lone Undefeated Team In WNCSports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports September 29, 2021
The Andrews Wildcats are the last unbeaten team remaining in Western North Carolina. Heading into Friday night, Andrews and Franklin stood atop WNC football standings as the final two unbeaten teams. Unfortunatley for Franklin, some costly special teams mistakes cost them their game against Tuscola. The Wildcats were basically mistake free Friday night however, catching a blowout road victory over the North Georgia Falcons.
Digging back into the record books as far as I could, it seems that this is Andrews’ best start since their lone, undefeated (West) State Championship winning season in 1967.
There’s something special about this team. A definite culture change is taking place in the Andrews locker room. Wildcat’s Head Coach James Phillips says he’s just glad to be along for the ride: “This group of kids has always had a winning mentality. They’re a perfect fit in our program and for what we’ve been trying to do here. They’re winners. They always have been. There’s nothing magical that I’ve done or any of the coaches have done, we’ve just kept them working and progressing and getting better. They’ve got a winning mindset.”
This team has already made history, but they say the job’s only just begging.
The Wildcats open conference play on the road this Friday against Hayesville, in a game that will be broadcast live on FYNtv.com.
This game will set the tone for the rest of conference play for the Wildcats. It seems like every week I hear someone say, “this game will show us whether or not Andrews is the real deal”. I’m here to tell you they’re for real, and they’ve put the rest of the SMC on notice. No one is looking forward to seeing the red and black on their schedule.
2021 Preseason All Smoky Mountain Conference Team & AwardsSports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports August 13, 2021
We’re back for the second installment of the FYN Sports Preseason All Smoky Mountain Conference football awards. Our staff writers and other sports writers in the community came together and helped us narrow down our choices for this year’s preseason All-Conference teams. These picks are backed by last year’s stats and are our predictions of who to watch for this year.
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Kellen Rumfelt, Senior QB, Murphy
Rumfelt was the best passer in the SMC last year. He led the league in passing TDs and passing yards. He also led his team to a State Championship W. Easy choice here for FYN Sports Preseason POY.
PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Donald Bradley, Senior QB, Cherokee
Bradley won a couple games for Cherokee single-handedly last year. He can make things happen with his arm, and with his legs. He’s perhaps the most exciting QB to watch in the conference. It will be interesting to see what he can do with the weapons he has coming back this year.
PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Drew Martin, Junior LB, Andrews
Martin average around 10 Tackles per game last year and was the cornerstone of the Wildcats defense. A lot of people are high on Andrews this year and think they may be able to make a push for 3rd position on the conference, and Drew Martin is a big reason why.
PRESEASON ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
Cuttler Adams, Sophomore RB/LB, Robbinsville
Cuttler Adams is going to be a name to remember. He does it all. He makes an impact in all 3 phases of the game. Special Teams, offense and defense, he’s always flying around trying to make a play. He has a good chance to lead the Black Knights in Tackles and rushing yards this year.
Preseason All-Conference team-
Kellen Rumfelt, Murphy
Donald Bradley, Cherokee
Isaac Weaver, Andrews
Ty Laney, Murphy
Cuttler Adams, Robbinsville
Wide Receiver/Tight End:
Payton McCracken, Murphy
Jake McTaggart, Hayesville
Hunter Laney, Murphy
Carlos Wesley, Robbinsville
Carson White, Robbinsville
Kyle Willard, Murphy
Mason Thrasher, Murphy
Sam Bernhisel, Swain
Carlos Wesley, Robbinsville
Ben Wachacha, Robbinsville
Kyle Lunsford, Hayesville
James Reed, Cherokee
Drew Martin, Andrews
Kage Williams, Robbinsville
Carson Taylor, Swain
Juan Allen, Murphy
Payton McCracken, Murphy
Cuttler Adams, Robbinsville
Taylor McClure, Hayesville
Cody Kline, Robbinsville
Cole Anderson, Andrews
Donovan Bateman, Andrews
Chandler Wood, Murphy
Brock Adams, Robbinsville
1A State Playoffs First Round Preview: Andrews vs ElkinSports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports April 14, 2021
It’s FINALLY playoff time here in North Carolina. The brackets have been set and matchups announced, so let’s do a quick run through of what to expect from the first round matchup between the number 8 seed Andrews Wildcats and the number 1 seed Elkin Elks.
Elkin comes into the playoffs riding high. They are 5-1 on the year, and basically stole the number 1 seed for this year’s playoffs thanks to the messed up seeding system the NCHSAA is using. According to the MaxPreps rankings which in previous years have been used for seeding, Elkin is ranked 13th in 1A. They are ranked behind Mitchell, Robbinsville, Murphy and Thomas Jefferson who all were given lower seeds. Their lone loss on the year came against 2A Ashe County. They do play some stiff competition in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A conference so I would expect that to help them a ton coming into a game against the “David” of North Carolina High School football.
Don’t expect Elkin’s defense to give up many points in this one. They are holding teams to aj average of 12 points per game this year. A shortened season yes, but still pretty impressive through 6 games. If they want to prove to everyone they deserve the #1 seed and win and advance, they are going have to stop Andrews dominant run game. Andrews has adopted a Veer/Wing T offense and they are running all over teams this year. The Wildcats do so much offensively with their shifts and pre snap motions, it’s a lot for teams to prepare for. If Elkin wants to get out of the first round, they are going to have to have spent a lot of time in the film room this week.
With playoff teams going from 32 to 16 this year, Andrews barely snuck into the playoffs. That doesn’t take away from the great season they are having though. Their only two losses on the year were against defending state champions Robbinsville and in their season opener against Murphy. I can’t speak for the Robbinsville game but I was on the call for their game against Murphy, and they played the Dogs very tough in the first half. That brings me to my first point of what Andrews is going to have to do to pull off the upset against Elkin- Play 4 quarters.
Andrews is a small team with most players playing on both sides of the ball. That can lead to them getting gassed late in the third and fourth quarter. They absolutely cannot let that happen in the playoffs if they want to make a run. With a shortened season though, I think that may help Andrews more than any team. They are going to come in relatively fresh, with 6 games of conditioning under their belt that will hopefully allow them to go blow for blow all 4 quarters against Elkin.
The biggest thing Andrews has to do to win is what they have to do to win every game- hand it to Isaac Weaver and Gavin Wilson. They have a young Quarterback in Bateman who can get it done when he needs to, but they’ve got to get Weaver and Wilson going early and often to win. Both Wildcat runninbacks had over 700 yards heading into last week’s game against Rosman, and I know they tacked on a ton more in that one.
Honestly, if I was making a prediction for this one, I’d say that Andrews has a very good chance of pulling this upset off. If they play 4 quarters of smash mouth, run it down your throat football, they will win this ball game and maybe get a chance at redemption against Murphy.