Hayesville Football 1st Playoff Preview

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets have earned the #19 seed in the NCHSAA football playoffs. It is a rematch of a conference game in which the Yellow Jackets lost to Swain County earlier this year. Swain the #14 seed will host the game and is favored of course as the higher seed. The weather for the game looks to be great according to the forecast for Friday night.

Reviewing the 1st Matchup:

Hayesville lost the first matchup a home game to Swain 42-14. What’s interesting about it though, was that Jake Mctaggart was still suspended and he played but not until the second half of the game. By the time he played to start the second half, it was already 28-7 making his impact much lesser. Hayesville also had two turnovers to Swains zero in the game. As well they had significantly more penalties. I would also say Swain played one of their better efforts of the year in this matchup.

Rewatch the First Game:


Review Article after 1st Swain Game:


Previewing the Playoff Matchup:

Hayesville will have Jake Mctaggart for a full game this time around. I would also expect Logan Caldwell to play better. He went through a rough stretch of play during the early conference season. Yet Caldwell and really the whole Hayesville team appear that they may be peaking at the right time of the year.

Keys to the Game Offensively:

  1. Throw early and often: Swain’s run-stopping ability is the strength of their defense. While their pass defense can be suspect at times and we have seen several teams hurt them through the air this year.
  2. Limit turnovers: Hayesvilles QB Logan Caldwell can be overly aggressive at times and sometimes it pays off. Yet in this game, he needs to be hesitant to take too many risks early.
  3. NO PENALTIES: How many times this year have we seen a holding call, a false start, or some other infraction kill a drive. Hayesville’s offense has shown it can move the ball on anyone but penalties are drive killers.

Keys to the Game Defensively:

  1. Don’t give up the big play: Swains Offense has not been great at moving the ball on long drives this year. Yet they have been great at getting big plays, whether it’s a long throw or long QB scramble. If Hayesville can force them to have long drives playing bend but don’t break defense it improves their chances.
  2. Force the pitch: Swain runs their veer offense and whether they go triple, speed, or power option they struggle to make the pitch. Their quarterback Gabe Lilliard has fumbled the pitch part of their option numerous times this year. Stealing a possession would be huge for the Yellow Jackets. 
  3. Get off the field on 3rd/4th down. Hayesville has struggled even when forcing teams into third and fourth and long this year to get off the field. Hayesville’s biggest win of the year was the Cherokee game. In that game on several occasions, they were able to successfully get a third or fourth-down stop. 

Interviews with Head Coach Chad McClure, as well as Jake Mctaggart and Logan Caldwell:




I think that Hayesville is playing their best football of the year while Swain hasn’t won a game since our last matchup with them. All things are looking ripe for an upset but don’t get yourself wrong for it to happen the Yellow Jackets are going to have to play their best game of the year. I think they are capable of doing that though, my prediction is Hayesville 31 Swain 28.

Hayesville Fall to Conference Champs in Season Finale

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets traveled to Robbinsville on Friday night for the regular-season finale. Robbinsville needed to win the game to win their third straight conference championship. The Yellow Jackets hung tough in the game and scared the Black Knights early in the game. Ultimately Robbinsvilles championship pedigree was too much for the young Hayesville team. The Black Knights clinched their conference championship-winning 31-14.

1st Quarter:

Hayesville got off to a great start when they recovered a botch Robbinsville handoff on their second play. Then the Yellow Jackets ran a trick play, a halfback pass from Jake Mctaggart to Kyle Lunsford for a 30-yard touchdown. Then Hayesville forced a Robbinsville punt to get the ball back with a chance to go up two scores. Hayesville got three first downs before a penalty and sack killed the drive. Then a high snap on the punt went through the back of the endzone for a safety. 

2nd Quarter:

Robbinsville would capitalize on good starting field position and score to go up 9-7. Hayesville looked to be on another scoring drive, but a missed fourth-down call gave the ball back to Robbinsville. On the play, Jake Mctaggart caught a pass clearly in bounds but was ruled out. After trading the ball back and forth Robbinsville would punch in another score to take a 17-7 lead. They would take that lead into halftime.

3rd Quarter:

Hayesville would have to punt it away on their first drive of the half. Robbinsville would take advantage and extend their lead scoring on their first drive of the second half. Each team would fail to score on their next opportunities. This would make for a lowing scoring quarter that ended with Robbinsville leading 24-7.

4th Quarter:

A partially blocked punt at the beginning of the fourth quarter returned by Kyle Lunsford gave Hayesville great starting field position. It would give Hayesville great starting field position and it would only take them two plays to get into the endzone. With Lunsford catching his second touchdown pass of the game this time from Logan Caldwell. Robbinsville would respond though scoring again to push their lead back up to 17, leading 31-14. That would be the final score of the game and with the win the Black Knights clinched their conference championship.

Hayesville Notable Stats:

Logan Caldwell: 127 passing yards 1 TD

Kyle Lunsford: 7 receptions 141 yards 2 TD

Taylor McClure: 17 tackles 

Jake Mctagggart: 15 tackles

Lane O’Dell: 9 tackles

Ricky McCullough: 8 tackles

Hayesville plays in the 1st round of the NCHSAA playoffs Friday night. The Yellow Jackets the #19 seed will travel to take on the #14 seed Swain Maroon Devils. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Yellow Jackets Fall to Murphy

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets went to Murphy on Friday night. It was the first conference road game for Hayesville this season. It was a wet muddy night and the Yellow Jackets struggled to get anything consistent going on offense all night. As well Murphys downhill running attack was hard to slow down. Hayesville would lose to the defending state champion Bulldogs 56-14 sliding to 0-2 in conference play. 

1st Half:

Hayesville received the opening kickoff to start the game, but penalties killed their first drive. After punting it away to Murphy, the bulldogs would open the game scoring with a touchdown pass. After the referee miss an obvious personal foul on the ensuing kickoff, Hayesvilles coaching staff justifiably frustrated got flagged for 15 yards. This forced Hayesville to start their drive from their own 8-yard line. Hayesville fumbled a handoff which Murphy picked up and scored to increase their lead to 14-0.

Hayesville would finally respond on offense, Logan Caldwell engineered a long-scoring drive. Picking up several third down along the way, with Caldwell scoring on a quarterback scramble to bring Hayesville within a touchdown. Murphy responded by scoring again and increasing their lead back to two scores 21-7. Hayesville almost responded themselves getting into the red zone on their next drive but couldn’t finish it off. Murphy would go into halftime with a commanding 35-7 lead.

2nd Half:

Murphy would take any doubt out of the game in the third quarter. The Bulldogs would score 21 points in the third quarter to make their lead 56-7. Hayesville would get one more score late in the fourth quarter. Caldwell would use his legs again for his second rushing touchdown of the year. It was good to see some young players get in the game late for Hayesville. Freshmen like Tate Roberts and Michael Mauney made several nice plays late in the game. Hayesville would go on to lose 56-14 with Murphy playing their most complete game of the year. Looking very much like the states defending champions who are rounding into playoff form.

Hayesville Notable Stats:

Logan Caldwell: 10-20 139 yards passing, 2 rushing TD’s, 6 tackles on defense

Taylor McClure: 15 rushes for 75 yards, 4 receptions for 33 yards 6 tackles of defense

Kyle Lunsford:3 receptions for 66 yards

Jeremy Graves: 7 tackles on defense

Lane O’Dell: 5 tackles on defense

Hayesville next plays on Friday, October 15th hosting Swain, the game will be live on fyntv.com. Make sure to tune into fyntv.com for the WNC Friday Night Pressbox show to see the Hayesville v.s. Swain preview. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Caldwells Legendary Performance Leads Yellow Jackets Past Force

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets traveled south to take on the defending homeschool national champions, Georgia Force. It was a game in which either team was capable to win the game and the pregame picks were fairly split among the press. The Yellow Jackets though had incredibly strong execution offensively and defensively throughout the game. Georgia Force dominated in special teams though, including a touchdown kick return to start the second half. Hayesville’s Logan Caldwell had four interceptions on defense and passed for 238 yards to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 28-21 victory.

1st Quarter:

Hayesville received the opening kick and had a methodical scoring drive. It was well-balanced running and passing on the drive. Two big completions to Kyle Lunsford, a big run by Jake Mctaggart, finished off with a Mctaggart touchdown run gave Hayesville the early 7-0 lead. Mctaggart at running back was a new wrinkle in the offense but was very effective throughout the game. Georgia Force’s first pass attempt of the game was picked off by Logan Caldwell. 

Hayesville capitalized on the mistake with another great scoring drive. The drive was due in large to a great screenplay where Taylor McClure got some great blocking resulting in a 52-yard reception. The drive was finished off by a great read option keeper by Caldwell to put Hayesville up 14-0. On the first play of Georgia Forces drive the Caldwell intercepted another pass. Hayesville would execute another good drive getting into Force territory as the quarter came to a close.

2nd Quarter:

A great triple option play to start the quarter got Hayesville inside the ten after Mctaggart took the pitch for a big gain. Mctaggart followed it up with a short touchdown reception two plays later to extend the lead to 21-0. A long drive by Georgia force got them into Hayesville territory but they missed the opportunity for points when they missed a field goal. Hayesville would have their drive of the game that didnt end in a score. Punting the ball back to the Force. A fantastic punt return would give the Force the ball inside Hayesvilles 20-yard line. They would capitlize on the great field position with a touchdown to take the score to Hayesville 21 Force 7 going into halftime. 

3rd Quarter:

Georgia Force would return the second half kick off for a touchdown, vaulting themselves right back into the game. Hayesville would go three and out on their next drive giving it back to the force with a chance to tie it up. Hayesvilles defense would give up a few first downs but stand strong and force a third and long from their own 40-yard line. The Force would try a long pass route but for the fourth time of the night Logan Caldwell would jump the route and intercept the pass. Hayesville would put together another great drive, this time focused on the run. They would get inside the Force ten yard line as the quarter closed, with Hayesville leading 21-14.

4th Quarter:

The first play of the fourth quarter was a strong run with the Hayesville offensive line getting a great push to allow Taylor McClure to score. Georgia Force would respond though down 28-14, putting together a long drive. Finishing the drive off with a passing score to make it a one possession game 28-21. Hayesville would punt the ball back to the force on their next drive. With the opportunity to tie the game Hayesvilles defense tightened the screws and shut the down the force in just three plays. They punted the ball back and wouldnt get their offense back on the field again. Hayesville using all run plays would pick up two crucial first downs including a fourth down pickup. This allowed them to milk the clock and finish off the game winning 28-21.

Game Notes:

  • Hayesvilles offensive line had their best game of season giving great pass protection. As well as allowing Hayesville to rush for season high 163 yards. 
  • Jake Mctaggart found success playing running back for Hayesville for the first time this season. Coming into the game with zero rushing yards on the season he finished the game 91 rushing yards and a touchdown.
  • Logan Caldwell set a school records with 4 interceptions after getting moved from corner to safety for this game. 

Hayesville Notable Stats:

Logan Caldwell: 4 interceptions on defense, 13-23 passing for 238 yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD

Jake Mctaggart: 11 rushes 91 yards 1 TD, 5 receptions 53 yards 1 TD

Taylor McClure: 17 rushes for 71 yards 1 TD, 2 receptions 82 yards, 9 tackles on defense

Kyle Lunsford: 5 receptions for 92 yards

Interview with Head Coach Chad McClure:


Game Highlights:


Hayesville next plays on Friday, October 1st hosting Andrews. The game is the TeamFYNSports WNC Game of the Week. It will be live on fyntv.com and coverage wi
ll start with the pregame show at 6:45 PM.  Make sure to tune into fyntv.com for the WNC Friday Night Pressbox show to see the Hayesville at Georgia Force preview. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Falls to Tuscola

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets traveled to take on the Tuscola Mountaineers a solid 2a opponent. The game was similar in a lot of respects to the Franklin game. Hayesville got down early and fought back to make it close at halftime. Unfortunately, Tuscolas’s size on both lines and depth got to Hayesville in the second half resulting in a tough 46-21 loss.

1st Half:

Hayesville’s received the ball to start the game but some penalties and offensive miscommunications stalled their first couple drives of the game. Tuscola struck first and took an early lead with the first two touchdowns of the game. Down 14-0 Hayesville answered in a big way with a 68-yard touchdown reception by Taylor McClure. He broke four or five different tackles on the play and it brought the score to 14-7. After forcing a punt Hayesville would get the ball back. An 11 play 82-yard drive finished off with a Logan Caldwell to Jake Mctaggart touchdown pass would tie the game at 14. Tuscola would score again though but miss the extra point to go up 20-14 going into halftime.

Hayesville2nd Half:

Hayesville would attempt a surprise onside kick to start the second half. The Yellow Jackets were the ones that got surprised though when not only did Tuscola recover it. They would return it to the Hayesville 22-yard line, having great starting field position. Tuscola would capitalize scoring and going up 27-14. Tuscola would go on to score three more times to take a big 46-14 lead. Hayesville would answer late trying to fight back when Caldwell found McClure on a deep ball hitting him in stride en route to an 80-yard touchdown. It was too late in the game though, when Tuscola got the ball back though they were able to knee it out to end the game, winning 46-21.

Hayesville Head Coach Chad McClure Postgame Quotes:

“Similar to the Franklin game, I thought we played pretty good in the first half. We had terrible field position all half, we could never flip the field. Same thing in the second half, we tried the onside kick and just didn’t execute. We have to find a way to execute better in the second against quality teams.”

“They did a good job, they had good offensive and defensive lines. Once again I felt like they wore us down a little bit. We can’t continue to use that as an excuse though, we have to find a way because this is what we got. We’re gonna keep working, hopefully, we learn from this, continue to improve and it will help us down the road.”

Hayesville Highlights:


Notable Hayesville Stats:

Logan Caldwell: 21-29 passing for 377 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Int

Taylor McClure: 8 receptions for 201 yards, 2 TDs

Jake McTaggart: 8 receptions for 92 yards, 1 TD

Hayesville next plays on Friday, September 24th at Georgia Force. The game will be live on fyntv.com and coverage will start with the pregame show at 7:00 PM.  Make sure to tune into fyntv.com for the WNC Friday Night Pressbox show to see the Hayesville at Georgia Force preview. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Football Picks Up 1st Win In Dominant Performance

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Photo credit: Brooke Leatherwood

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted Lookout Valley of Chattanooga on Friday night. Hayesville took control of the game very early on. It was evident that Hayesville had superior talent. The Yellow Jackets led scoring the first touchdown and never looked back. Hayesville won 50-6 in a complete four-quarter performance, picking up their first victory of the year.

Asher Brown got the Hayesville offense going with what was the first of many big plays on the night. A 34-yard reception put Hayesville inside the five-yard line. Kyle Lunsford finished it off when he took the option pitch from Logan Caldwell for a short touchdown run. After trading the ball back and forth on Hayesville scored on their third drive of the game to go up 14-0. A big third-down 35-yard reception from Caldwell to Jake Mctaggart set up another Lunsford touchdown run. 


Bryan Davenport celebrates his touchdown catch

Lookout Valley tried a halfback pass on their next drive but it was underthrown into the waiting arms of Logan Caldwell. It was his second interception of the game and this one he returned 55-yards for a touchdown to put Hayesville up 22-0. Hayesville forced a turnover on down and got the ball back quickly. Caldwell found Asher Brown for another big play this time a 29-yard touchdown, a slant from Brown. 

Lookout Valley was able to pick up a few first downs but ultimately turned it over on downs inside Hayesville territory. With under two minutes to play in the half Hayesville broke out their two-minute offense. A huge 38-yard reception by Kyle Lunsford set up another short Hayesville touchdown run. This score put Hayesville up 36-0 going into halftime.


Taylor McClure outruns defenders to the endzone.

Hayesville got the ball to start the second half and wasted no time scoring in a hurry. Bryan Davenport took a screen pass from Caldwell, made a nice move, and outran everyone to the endzone. After forcing Lookout Valley to punt Hayesville got the ball back on their own 48-yard line. The Yellow Jackets scored on their first play of the drive. A triple-option look from shotgun and a perfect read pitch from Caldwell to Taylor McClure. McClure then outraced all the defenders for a 52-yard touchdown run. This put Hayesville up 50-0, with the final score ending up 50-6 as lookout valley would finally score late in the game.

Hayesville Lookout Valley Highlights:


Notable Hayesville Stats:

Logan Caldwell: 10-11 passing for 215 yards 2 TD 1 Int, Had 2 interceptions on defense with one returned for a 55-yard touchdown

Taylor McClure: 5 carries for 85 yards 1 TD

Kyle Lunsford: 1 reception for 45 yards and 3 rushing TDs

Asher Brown: 2 receptions for 61 yards and a TD

Bryan Davenport: 1 reception for a 20-yard TD and 10 tackles on defense

Hayesville next plays on Friday, September 19th at Tuscola. Make sure to tune into fyntv.com for the WNC Friday Night Pressbox show to see the Hayesville at Tuscola preview. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

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