Roberson, West Prevail; AC, AHS, HHS, Enka Roll - TribPapers

Roberson, West Prevail; AC, AHS, HHS, Enka Roll

Enka’s Riley Pugh scores the first TD Friday. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Asheville – Roberson (2-1) out-fought Smoky Mountain 21-12 at home Friday, and West (3-0) scored the game’s final three touchdowns—all in the fourth quarter—to win 40-26 at tough Polk County (1-2).

Others cruised. A.C. Reynolds (2-1) smeared host Alexander Central 49-7 in the “A.C. Bowl,” as Hayden Craig passed for three TDs. Asheville (2-1) beat Brevard 28-0. AHS scored in the third quarter on Jay Avery’s 15-yard dash, Deshaun Whitmire’s wildcat keeper, and Nick William’s 61-yard jaunt.

Devon Hollis gains 65 yards for TCR on this run. Photo by Pete Zamplas.
Devon Hollis gains 65 yards for TCR on this run. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Enka (1-1) raced to a 33-0 first-quarter lead in demolishing Rosman 45-7. Hendersonville (2-1) clobbered East Henderson (1-2) by 53-20. Elyja Gibbs threw for four scores, and ran half the field for a TD. Hezzie Rudisill ran for two more HHS scores. Erwin (1-2) lost, and North Buncombe and Owen remained winless.

Falcon Star ‘Triplets’

West scored three touchdowns in the final quarter to win 40-26. Lukas Kachilo passed for three TDs and ran for another one on Friday. Kachilo completed 71 percent of his passes—25 of 35 for 260 yards. The senior passed for 823 yards in three games and averaged 274. Kachilo ran for 34 yards on 15 carries—often on elusive scrambles.

Truitt Manuel caught two TD passes for a total of five in three games. He had ten catches on Friday and 32 for 324 yards (10 yards per carry) in 2022. He has 530 all-purpose yards—averaging 177. Yardage totals were: 324 receiving yards, a 15 interception return yardage, 151 punt returns, including a 23-yarder on Friday, and a 40-yard kickoff return on Friday. Manuel also recovered a Polk fumble.

Fellow Falcon junior Carson Dimsdale ran for 127 yards. He is already nearing 400 rushing yards, including 191 versus Hendersonville. He averages 7.5 yards per carry. He scored on a 30-yard reception Friday and caught three passes. West compiled 434 yards of total offense.

Lawson Sullivan caught a 14-yard TD pass. Fellow senior Cameron Banks caught five passes for 85 yards.

“We had a great effort led by our seniors. They wouldn’t be denied,” Falcon head coach Paul Whitaker said. He calmly told the team at halftime, “We played as bad as we could play, and yet we’re only down four.” In the second half, “we quit making mistakes.”

Kachilo set up West’s first score with an amazing 17-yard scramble to the Polk eight. He then lobbed the ball to Truitt Manuel at the right front corner of the end zone for a two-yard score. That slashed Polk’s lead to 14-7, 48 seconds into the second quarter.

Polk twice led by two TDs in the first half, as burly Angus Weaver scored on runs of 19 and 76 yards. He rushed for 138 yards in the first half to become Polk’s all-time leading rusher. Polk led 21-7, but scored no more TDs.

Manuel’s leaping catch down the left side gained 23 yards. Kachilo rolled right and ran in on a seven-yard run. The PAT missed at the 6:47 mark.
West scored again three and a half minutes later, pulling to within 21-19 with 3:16 before halftime. Manuel’s 25-yard punt return set up West at the Polk 47. Dimsdale ran 22 yards around right end. Manuel took a screen for 10 yards to set up the fourth and five yards to go.
Kachilo passed to Manuel in that same spot — this time for an eight-yard TD. The pass for two points to tie it was incomplete. West trailed 21-19 at the second quarter’s Biblical-like (John) 3:16 mark.

The teams traded miscues. Polk got a two-point safety on an errant West punt snap. But a Polk penalty wiped out its long TD pass before halftime. The Wolverines recovered a fumbled kickoff to start the second half, but were held to a 20-yard field goal. They led 26-19. They scored no more.

Crisp Turnaround

Then West reeled off three unanswered TDs. Kachilo tied it at 26 on a Kachilo’s 14-yard strike to 6-foot-6 Sullivan up the middle. Sullivan snared the tight spiral with an over-the-shoulder catch in the back of the end zone. That play opened the fourth quarter. It followed Kachilo’s five-yard QB draw on fourth-and-four. Dimsdale spurred the 54-yard scoring drive with two long runs.

Manuel ran for a first down on a fake punt in the first half. He was barely short when he tried again, on fourth and 13, with 13 to go midway into the third quarter. But West held on and made its tying drive.

After tying the game, the Falcons snatched the ball from Keundrae Green after his long reception. Caleb Collany and Andrew Schultz hit Green from opposite sides to pop the ball loose. Manuel grabbed it at his own 16-yard line.

Dimsdale’s 38-yard run up the gut to the Polk one set up a TD on Kachilo’s QB draw. Dimsdale took the handful and headed to his right, as if for a wide run. He suddenly cut left, burst straight through the Polk line, veered slightly to his left and nearly scored. Lefty Irban Villafuerte’s PAT was good. West finally led—by 33-26 with 2:55 to go.

West tacked on an insurance score on a 30-yard pass play. Kachilo stepped ahead, backed up, and then found Dimsdale free on the right side at the 27. Dimsdale went the distance. The West triumphed 40-26.

The Falcons are off on Friday, Sept. 9. They open their Mountain Seven season by hosting North Henderson on Sept. 16 and then are at East Henderson. East welcomes North Buncombe on Friday. NHHS hosts Owen. HHS is at Heritage.

‘ZZ Top’ Rams

T.C. Roberson fended off Smoky Mountain 21-12 by scoring a TD in each of the first three quarters. The Rams held a healthy two-score lead for most of the second half. They allowed no TDs after SMHS QB Jed West’s 34-yard TD pass opened the scoring midway into the first quarter. The extra point failed.

Roberson’s first TD was a dandy. Halfback Zeb Swangim, the backup QB, took a pitch. He rolled right, and while on the go, lobbed a pass into the end zone to Zach Stanley. This Z-to-Z combo made a sharp “ZZ Top” play.

Stanley said the Mustang defender smashed his right shoulder. As Stanley fell backwards, the ball arrived. The tall sophomore snatched it, then cradled it, as he crashed down. Stanley grinned about his first varsity TD. Asher Sloan’s extra point put TCR ahead, 7-6, with 3:04 left in the first quarter.
A minute into the second quarter, SMHS regained the lead on a 20-yard field goal. Yet Swangim dashed 49 yards down the right side a minute and a half later. The Rams led 14-9, then 14-12 after a 25-yard SMHS field goal.

The Rams then put the game away. Then Devon Hollis ran 65 yards to the Mustang five. Reno Jeter ran wide left for a four-yard TD with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

“All about execution,” Jeter said of Ram blocking and finding holes. Head coach J.D. Dinwiddie said the linemen “played hard. They “work hard” to prepare. He said the backs showed determination in breaking tackles. Three Rams each rushed for at least 80 yards — Hollis (13.3 ypc.), Swangim (12.6), and Lex Dinwiddie (6.8). Coach Dinwiddie told his team in the post-game huddle, “I’m proud of you…you got it done!”

Enka Runs Wild

The Enka Jets ran at will up the middle for scores against winless Rosman. Riley Pugh zig-zagged untouched for the first score. He ran 15 yards for the third TD.

QB Matt Rogers took the shotgun snap and scampered 11 yards on a keeper for the second TD. Cam Wait, the team’s regular quarterback, broke his hand against Pisgah a week ago. LaDarrell Marshall’s rushing TD made it 27-0. Parker Roberts ran for two TDs, and Jayden Walker for one more.

Head coach Mike Sexton said, “Our offensive line performed extremely well” to open holes. “We were efficient on offense. Scoring points gives us confidence” going forward.