Sylva – The Maroon Devils, coming off of an impressive 34-0 win over Charlotte Country Day in the season opener, went into Friday’s contest looking for a measure of revenge following last year’s heart breaking loss to Smoky Mountain. Both teams entered the game with 1-0 records. Brutally hot conditions tested both teams. Smoky Mountain posted a 10-0 lead with 5 minutes before the half. Swain would strike back with 14 unanswered points to take a hard fought 14-10 win over the Mustangs.
Both Mustang scores came in the second quarter. The first one came at the 8:19 mark of the quarter. The Mustangs recovered a Swain fumble on the Maroon Devil 45 yard line. Smoky took 10 plays to move the ball 36 yards before their drive stalled out. Sawyer Snider booted a 26-yard field goal to put Smoky up 3-0.
Smoky Mountain would score again on their next possession. Once again the Mustangs turned a Maroon Devil mistake into gold. Swain fumbled on their own 35-yard line and Smoky recovered setting themselves up with a short field. It took only 3 plays for the Mustangs to find the endzone. The extra point gave Smoky Mountain a 10-0 lead with 5 minutes to go before halftime.
The Maroon Devils wasted no time in answering back, although the drive didn’t start out well for the Devils. Josh Collins was pinned on the 15-yard line on the kickoff return, on top of that the Devils were flagged for a personal foul penalty that would back them up to their own 7-yard line. Quarterback Reese Winchester found Josiah Glaspie down the Swain sideline for a gain of 46 yards. Winchester found Keyanthae Graham and Corey Stillwell for short gains to set the Devils up at the Mustang 38 yard line. On his next pass Winchester hit Graham for a 38-yard touchdown strike to put Swain on the board. Brendon Lanning kicked the extra point to pull Swain to within 3 at 10-7 heading into halftime.
Swain took the second half opening kickoff and mounted their best drive of the night going 70 yards on 13 plays. Josh Winchester capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. Following the extra point by Lanning the Devils took their first lead of the night at 14-10. It would be one that their defense would make hold up for the remainder of the game.
Reece Winchester was 7 of 23 for 113 yards and a touchdown. Drew Cody was 1 for 1 as he took a lateral pass and then threw a strike to Corey Stillwell to set the Devils up with first and goal at the Mustang 5 yard line.
Josh Collins finished with 68 yards rushing to pace Swain. Stillwell, Graham and Josiah Glaspie had a pair of catches each.
Collins and Nse Uffort had 7 tackles each, while Lucas Sutton finished with 6 to lead a Swain defense that limited Smoky to 152 yards of offense.