Playoff-bound Pisgah winsNoland and Brown propel Black Bears past Smoky 49-16
CANTON — David Pressley knew his Pisgah varsity football team would be a “work in progress” and he also knows what he has expected the Black Bears to look like this season.
He finally got to see it on Friday and now it may be time to rethink his team as a work near completion.”
Pisgah brought its “A” game for visiting Smoky Mountain, gashed the Mustangs’ defense for 326 yards on the ground and whipped the Mustangs, 49-16, in a regular season finale at Memorial Stadium.
The Black Bears, which plays at winless Brevard (0-10) next Friday in the regular season finale, improved to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the WNC Athletic Conference. Smoky dropped to 3-7 overall and 3-3 in the conference. But more importantly, Pisgah’s win also wrapped up the No. 1 seed for the Class 2-AA playoffs.
“We still have some things to clean up and get better at, but I really like the effort and focus of our team (Friday),” said Pressley during his coaching show Saturday morning. “But if we play like that, for the remainder of the season, well, that’s Pisgah football. That’s what I have envisioned this team being at some point in this season.”
The Black Bears roared out to a 28-10 halftime lead and expanded the lead to 42--16 after three quarters, thanks to quarterbacks Josh Noland and McKinley Brown.
Noland, who finished with 105 yards rushing, 60 yards passing (4-of-6), rushed for a pair of touchdowns (38, 23 yards) and connected with junior Jesse Anderson for a pair of TD passes of 39 and 14 yards.
Brown, who finished with 51 yards on the ground and 43 yards passing (4-of-5), scored twice on runs of 33 and 11 yards.
Junior running back Dustin Messer, who rushed for a season-high 101 yards on 14 carries, scored on a 14-yard run with 6:50 left in the second quarter. Junior placekicker Nathan Higdon was 7-for-7 on PATs.
Smoky Mountain scored twice in the second quarter. The Mustangs’ Zach Bryson kicked a 23-yard field goal and Lee Plank scooped up a fumble and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown with 2:02 left before halftime.
Smoky’s final score came in the third quarter on sophomore quarterback Zeb Speir’s one-yard plunge.
Pisgah finished with 424 yards (326 rushing, 103 passing) in total offense compared to the Mustangs’ 263 (168 rushing, 95 passing).
For Pisgah, Anderson hauled in four passes for 60 yards, while senior tight end/fullback Garrett Holland had two receptions for 30 yards, rushed for 41 yards on five carries and senior Corey Valentine rushed for 26 yards and caught one pass for seven yards.