Get that first win out of the way, and then the dam might break.
Smoky Mountain and first-year coach Chris Brookshire have something to build off after Friday’s 27-26 triumph over two-time defending 1-A Western Regional champion Robbinsville.
Matthew Ridley carried the ball 19 times for 218 yards and two touchdowns while N.C. State baseball recruit Cole Hooper passed for 172 yards, most of which was accounted for by Connor Moore (83 receiving yards).
Moore’s 68-yard touchdown run with 2:04 remaining put the Mustangs (1-0) ahead for good and made up for a one-point loss to the Black Knights in 2015.
“(Friday) was a very hostile environment, the fans out there at Robbinsville are awesome,” Brookshire said.
“Our kids just played their rear-ends off and a game like this can only help us down the road. It’s just a blessing.”
Smoky Mountain played one of the perennially-best 1-A programs in Western North Carolina last week and the assignment is the same on Friday.
Swain County (0-1) is the team coming to Sylva for the very first football game on the Mustangs’ new organic $915,000 artificial turf field.
“Robbinsville and Swain are both perennial state-championship contenders,” Brookshire said.
“We’re going to have to be on our A-game again.”