Austin Brown and Erwin kept their appointment with history Friday.
But it wasn’t as easy as the final score indicates.
Brown moved up to No. 3 on Western North Carolina’s all-time passing list, throwing for 261 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-14 road win over Roberson at Ensley Stadium.
Jonathan Allen was responsible for 91 of those yards and two of the touchdowns. Jordan Tigar had 104 yards and a touchdown.
Kelman Simpson ran for 208 yards and two touchdowns. And a fifth senior, DeAngelo Collington, added a pair of short scoring runs (1 and 6 yards), allowing the Warriors (8-0, 4-0) to start a football season 8-0 for the first time.
Erwin players posed for a team picture after the Mountain Athletic Conference game.
“We had to turn it up a notch tonight, and that’s a credit to (Roberson),” Warriors coach Mike Sexton said. “They really did some nice things, especially in the first half.”
Brown (7,242 yards) moved past Swain County legend Heath Shuler (7,098 yards) in the process and closer to the area’s all-time record held by 2010 Tuscola graduate Tyler Brosius (7,895 yards). Brown (2,367 yards and 26 touchdowns with six interceptions) has passed for more than 2,000 yards each of the past three seasons.
Brown’s second touchdown pass of the night — a 24-yard connection to Tigar at the 11:09 mark of the third quarter — allowed him to pass Shuler, who continued his career at the University of Tennessee and briefly played in the NFL.
Erwin has been 7-0 twice before (1962 and 2011), and the Rams were the first team to beat them two years ago in Skyland.
There was no repeat Friday, but there were some moral victories for Roberson (4-4, 2-1).
The Warriors were held slightly below their average of 52.7 points per game. And the Rams only trailed 14-7 at halftime despite playing the majority of the game without two of its top players.
Alex Talley (32 receptions for 438 yards and two touchdowns) did not dress out, and Patrick Gilliam (7.9 tackles per game) went down with a left leg injury in the first three minutes of the opening quarter and did not return.
Reggie Pinner (2,096 yards and 23 touchdowns with seven interceptions) went over the 2,000-yard mark. He threw for 186 yards and one touchdown and ran for a 2-yard touchdown as time expired in the third quarter.
Pinner and the Rams got on the scoreboard first, with Marcus Jenkins hauling in his quarterback’s 23rd touchdown pass of the season with 6:34 to go in the first quarter. Pinner hit Jenkins perfectly in stride for the 25-yard score. Jenkins finished with a team-high 89 receiving yards.
Erwin took less than three minutes to answer.
Allen was on the receiving end of Brown’s 24th touchdown throw of the season (26 yards) at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter.
Simpson rushed for the go-ahead touchdown (18 yards) with 4:28 left until halftime.
Tigar also had an interception to kill Roberson’s final drive of the first half — the Rams advanced all the way to the Erwin 6-yard line but went for it on fourth down rather than kicking a field goal.
The Warriors return home next week for a game against North Buncombe, while Roberson travels to Asheville High.