Coming on the heels of three convincing non-conference wins, Pisgah football is set to begin Mountain Seven play against Smoky Mountain in a “home” game to be played at Erwin High School’s field.
Last year, Pisgah topped Smoky Mountain in a tough overtime contest, 20-14. This year, the Bears (3-0) enter the game having displayed a strong running attack and a tough bend-but-don’t-break defense that has allowed a number of red zone opportunities for opposing offenses but only seven offensive points. However, The Mustangs (2-1) will present a new challenge, especially up front on the offensive and defensive lines where they’ve returned a number of starters.
“They’ll probably be very similar to the last two opponents we’ve had in Mountain Heritage and Pickens, who both had had a lot of success up front,” Pisgah head coach Brett Chappell said.
Chappell said he’s been happy with his team’s ability to execute in all three phases of the game recently and how his players have maintained their concentration, even amid all the turmoil created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent flooding that devastated parts of Haywood County.
“It feels like we’re getting close to being where we need to be,” Chappell said. “But there’s still room for growth.”
Chappell said while the practice schedule has been approaching something closer to normal, he and his staff have still had to try some new things to keep the players engaged and focused.
“It’s been good,” he said. “We’ve changed some things up practice-wise to try to keep from getting in a rut. We haven’t had much of a normal type season, so we’ve had to just do what we can.”
“We’re sitting in a good place,” he added. “We’ve progressed each week. As long as we continue to do that, we’ll be successful.”
Last week’s game against Pickens, which was considered a home game, was played at Enka High School. Chappell said he was happy with the crowd at that game and expects more of the same enthusiasm from the Bears faithful this week.
“It wasn’t near what it’d be at home as far as the feeling, but our fans did a great job coming out and supporting our kids,” he said, adding that he thinks this week may even be better since Erwin’s field doesn’t have a track surrounding it and fans will be closer to the action on the field.
Chappell added that he was happy to see fans flood the field following the last win and hopes to see that play out again this week and every week moving forward.
“It’s been two years since we saw that,” he said. “It was nice to see our people, kids in the students section and families, be able to enjoy that with their kids.”
Kickoff at Erwin is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.