Smoky Mountain football’s bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.
Senior Chase Fisher (225 passing yards and one touchdown with one interception) is expected to return at quarterback on Friday when the Mustangs (2-1) travel to Cherokee (2-2).
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Kinsland Stadium.
Fisher sat out the Mustangs’ 28-21 win over Enka on Sept. 4 with a tender hamstring. Cole Hooper stepped in and led Smoky Mountain to a win by competing two of his eight pass attempts for 44 yards.
The Mustangs have not played since then.
Their primary receivers are Jayce Wolfe (seven receptions for 79 yards) and Connor Moore (four receptions for 99 yards and one touchdown).
Average-wise, Carlos Pantoja (15.7) is the top tackler in Western North Carolina, with his work supplemented by Kevin Allred (7.3), Jacob Gass (6.7), Carson Shuler (5.7), Connor Moore (4.7) and Nick Napert (4.3).
Smoky Mountain has already matched its wins total from last year’s 2-10 season. The Mustangs haven’t started a season with a 3-1 record since 2007.
Cherokee’s Kent Briggs was the head coach at Western Carolina University from 2002 to 2007. One of his assistants during that time was Smoky Mountain coach David Napert.