Beyond the Scoreboard: Brevard-Rosman rivalry showcased in Friday Night Rivals matchup

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Rosman High's Luke Stewart, who threw for 2,119 yards and 15 TDs last season, is one of WNC's top quarterbacks. (Photo credit: Luke Stewart)

A county rivalry like Brevard High versus Rosman is enough to get football players fired up, but throw in the fact that two hungry teams are eager to prove they are better than they showed last week, and you have the ingredients of a great game.

Then add that the game will be televised as the Friday Night Rivals matchup on MY40, and everyone involved with the two programs should be fired up about the battle for Transylvania County bragging rights.

Rosman and the Blue Devils opened with disappointing results last Friday night in Week 1 play.

Not only losing (Mountain Heritage topped Brevard 28-14, East Henderson routed Rosman 40-14), but both coaches thought their teams didn’t come close to playing to their potential.

“We had a great offseason and great preseason practices, and then we just didn’t show up last week,” said Matt Stack, who was 2-10 last year in his first season as head coach at Rosman.

“Overall, we didn’t play very well, and the kids know it. They’ve taken ownership of that and are working to show they are better than that.”

Brevard has a potent offense led by quarterback Mitchell Johnson and receiver Luke Ellenberger, but they managed less than 200 yards against a solid Mountain Heritage defense.

Johnson, who threw for 1,889 yards and 21 touchdowns during a 6-6 2017 season, connected on just 6-of-25 passes for 88 yards and threw two picks. He had just four interceptions in 12 games last season.

“It was our first live action, and we had some critical mistakes, but our kids played hard and went toe to toe with a great football program,” said Brevard coach Craig Pritchett, who was 10-3 in 2016, his second season with the Blue Devils.

“You take away four or five big plays that we gave up, and that’s a different ball game.

“The timing was off in our passing game, and we had some errant throws and a couple of key drops. Hopefully, we get back on track this week.”

Both schools have been around since the 1950s but didn’t meet on the football field until 1975. They have played intermittently since then, with the Blue Devils holding a 10-4 edge.

After Brevard outscored the Tigers 151-3 in a trio of games from 2005-07, the programs didn’t meet again until 2013.

Rosman won three straight years once the series resumed before Brevard claimed the last two meetings, including a 27-12 triumph last season.

A county rivalry and playing on MY40 (telecast begins at 7 p.m., with a 7:30 kickoff) should get both teams very motivated.

“This is the third year we’ve gotten the opportunity to play on TV, and now that we know what to expect, we have a real feel to how we handle this,” said Pritchett.

“Anytime Brevard and Rosman play it’s going to be a great atmosphere, and it doesn’t matter what the records are.”

“We just want to get back on the field and play better, no matter who it is,” said Stack.

“But the Brevard game is always a big week, and our kids are going to have some extra pep, no doubt about that.”

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