FOOTBALL: Smith scores four TDs to lead Braves over Hayesville

by Oct 22, 2022SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments

Cherokee’s Tso Smith (#12) runs out of a Hayesville tackle during a game at Ray Kinsland Stadium on the evening of Friday, Oct. 21. The Braves won 28-21 behind four touchdowns by Smith who carried the ball 20 times for 183 yards and completed 4 of 7 passes for 42 yards on the night. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)



One Feather Asst. Editor


CHEROKEE, N.C. – Two minutes after scoring the go-ahead touchdown, Tso Smith, Cherokee Braves senior, intercepted a pass, a one-handed grab at that, in the end zone to seal the victory for Cherokee over Hayesville.  The Braves won 28-21 against the Yellow Jackets in a game on the chilly evening of Friday, Oct. 21.

The Braves scored twice in the fourth quarter – both by Smith.  The first was a 25-yard run with 9:28 left in the game.  He also ran for the two-point conversion to give Cherokee a 21-14 lead.  Following a Hayesville touchdown by Taylor McClure (1-yard run) to tie the game at 3:20, Smith answered with a 54-yard touchdown run with 2:28 left in the game to give the Braves a 28-21 lead.

Eight plays later, and with 29.5 seconds left in the game, Smith intercepted the Hayesville pass in the end zone.

PHOTO ALBUM: Cherokee vs Hayesville, October 21

On the night, Smith scored all of Cherokee’s touchdowns on runs of 8, 1, 25, and 54 yards respectively.  He carried the ball 20 times for 183 yards and completed 4 of 7 passes for 42 yards.

Luke Climbingbear led Cherokee defensively with 13 total tackles.

The game started evenly with both teams scoring on their first possession.  Cherokee got into the end zone on Smith’s 8-yard run and Hayesville answered four minutes later with a 2-yard run by McClure.

The first quarter flew by with both teams keeping the ball on the ground and the clock moving.  Cherokee scored at the 9:34 mark of the second quarter on its second possession of the game with a 1-yard run by Smith.  The Braves took a 13-7 lead into the locker room.

Hayesville took the lead in the third quarter following a 9-yard touchdown pass from Logan Caldwell to Avery Leatherwood.  That led to the fourth quarter drama described above.

Cherokee’s last regular season game is set for Friday, Oct. 28 as they host rival Swain Co. at 7:30 p.m. at Ray Kinsland Stadium.

Cherokee’s Luke Climbingbear (#43) pursues Logan Caldwell, Hayesville quarterback. Climbingbear led Cherokee with 13 tackles.


1st Quarter

7:30 – CHEROKEE: Tso Smith 8-yard run, Mato Grant kick. Cherokee 7 Hayesville 0

3:44 – HAYESVILLE: Taylor McClure 2-yard run, Isaac Chandler kick. Cherokee 7 Hayesville 7

2nd Quarter

9:34 – CHEROKEE: Smith 1-yard run, kick no good. Cherokee 13 Hayesville 7

3rd Quarter

8:26 – HAYESVILLE: Logan Caldwell 9-yard pass to Avery Leatherwood, Chandler kick. Hayesville 14 Cherokee 13

4th Quarter

9:28 – CHEROKEE: Smith 25-yard run, Smith two-point conversion. Cherokee 21 Hayesville 14

3:20 – HAYESVILLE: McClure 1-yard run, Chandler kick. Cherokee 21 Hayesville 21

2:28 – CHEROKEE: Smith 54-yard run, Grant kick. Cherokee 28 Hayesville 21



Total Plays: Cherokee 69, Hayesville 52

Total Yards: Cherokee 381, Hayesville 218

Passing Yards: Cherokee 42, Hayesville 83

Rushing Yards: Cherokee 339, Hayesville 135

First Downs: Cherokee 20, Hayesville 13

3rd Down Efficiency: Cherokee 7 of 13, Hayesville 4 of 8

4th Down Efficiency: Cherokee 3 of 4, Hayesville 1 of 1

Turnovers: Cherokee 1, Hayesville 1

Fumbles Lost: Cherokee 1, Hayesville 0

Interceptions Thrown: Cherokee 0, Hayesville 1

Penalties: Cherokee 7 for 77 yards, Hayesville 7 for 62 yards



Passing: Cherokee – Tso Smith 4 of 7 for 42 yards; Hayesville – Logan Caldwell 9 of 18 for 83 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: Cherokee – Tso Smith 20 for 183 yards, 4 TDs; Chase Calhoun 26 for 124 yards; Michael Driver 9 for 32 yards; Hayesville – Kyle Lunsford 2 for 8 yards, stats incomplete for Hayesville

Receiving: Cherokee – Xavier Otter 1 for 15 yards, Michael Driver 1 for 11 yards, Kaden Trantham 1 for 10 yards, Mato Grant 1 for 6 yards; Hayesville – Kyle Lunsford 3 for 17 yards, Michael Mauney 1 for 10 yards, Avery Leatherwood 1 for 9 yards, stats incomplete for Hayesville

Tackles: Cherokee – Luke Climbingbear 13 (6 solo), Tyler Wolfe 4 (2 solo, 1 pass broken up), Mato Grant 8 (1 solo, 2 passes broken up), Chase Calhoun 5 (4 solo), Kaden Trantham 5 (2 solo), Xavier Otter 4 (1 solo); tackle statistics unavailable for Hayesville