Bears stay unbeaten, give Chappell 100th win

Bears stay unbeaten, give Chappell 100th win


Bears stay unbeaten, give Chappell 100th win


Rome Henson (25) and Pisgah defeated Franklin, 29-23, on Friday night in Canton.

Rome Henson (25) and Pisgah defeated Franklin, 29-23, on Friday night in Canton.

CANTON – The primary color red wasn’t the only similarity between Franklin and Pisgah on Friday night.

The defensive units dominated early, and both passing games took flight almost simultaneously as these proud mountain programs refused to give up on the chance to leave Pisgah Memorial Stadium with a “W.”

After four lead changes and countless clutch plays on both sides, Pisgah senior Trey Morgan hauled in his third touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Tanner Wike to put the Bears ahead for good as they earned a 29-23 WNC Athletic Conference victory.

Franklin had two opportunities deep in Pisgah’s territory over the final five minutes, but the home team’s defense finished as strong as it started to help the Bears end a six-year drought against the Panthers.

“This one’s been marked on the calendar for a while, especially for me,” said Morgan, who caught five passes for 104 yards. “I’ve never beat ‘em, so this is something else.”

Wike led Pisgah (6-0, 2-0) with 109 rushing yards on 12 carries and completed 9 of 13 passes for 107 yards with no interceptions.

Michael Parrott scored Pisgah’s only first-half touchdown on a 13-yard run and finished with 56 rushing yards on 11 totes, and Chase Henson had the game’s only turnover – a fourth-quarter interception that set the stage for the Bears’ winning score.

“The big thing for our kids was we faced a lot of adversity,” said Pisgah coach Brett Chappell, who collected his 100th career victory. “I thought Franklin and their staff did a great job. They called some huge plays on fourth down, especially the fake punt right before halftime that got us. But our kids didn’t quit. We stuck with our game plan and hung in there.”

Franklin (2-4, 0-2) had just three points through the first 23 minutes but caught Pisgah off-guard for a 34-yard pass from Brock Kloeppel to Andrew Moore on the fake punt play Chappell was referring to. That set up Moore’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Mason Sequoya right before the break, and Moore opened the second half with a 52-yard scoring strike to Bailey Watts.

That gave the Panthers a 16-7 edge, but Pisgah roared back with Wike’s first touchdown pass to Morgan – a 70-yarder on the Bears’ second offensive play of the third quarter. Morgan caught a 15-yard touchdown moments later.

A week after surrendering 19 fourth-quarter points in a five-point loss to Brevard, Franklin opened the fourth quarter against Pisgah by converting a fourth-down as a scrambling Moore found Robert McAllister in the end zone from 13 yards out.

But the Panthers’ defense wasn’t able to stop the Wike-to-Morgan connection on the other end, and Franklin coach Josh Brooks’ team is now on an exceedingly rare three-game skid.

“Pisgah played well tonight, and they deserved to win. Congratulations to them,” Brooks said. “Kids are playing hard. We can make all the excuses you want. We didn’t get the job done tonight, so we’ll play again next week.”

Franklin will try to get back in the win column on Friday when it hosts Smoky Mountain while the Bears will travel to West Henderson.

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