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Erwin Knights fall to Western Carolina

Western Carolina used a high-powered first quarter to spoil the opening day festivities for the Erwin Knights semi-professional football team of the World Class Football League (WCFL).
The Knights from North Carolina used a first quarter interception to solidify the momentum toward a 60-12 victory at Gentry Stadium on Saturday, April 11.
Western Carolina took the early 24-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter, but Erwin was able to reach the scoreboard at the 12-minute mark of the second quarter when the former Blue Devil connection between quarterback D.W. Whitson and wide out Coty VanHoy found paydirt. VanHoy was able to haul in a pass from 20 yards out and raced away for the score to cut the deficit to 24-6.
After a Western Carolina score, Whitson found another former Blue Devil, Zack Beard, in the corner of the endzone to steadily chip away at the deficit, cutting the lead to 18 points, 30-12.
Erwin was held scoreless in the second half in their debut at Gentry Stadium when Western Carolina was able to rattle off another 30-point half to come away with the victory.
The Erwin Knights, under the direction of local coaches Andy Slagle, Bobby Smith, Austin Miller and Austin Crum, showed signs of progress throughout their opening contest.
Robbie Patten and Brendan Koehler both came up with fumble recoveries in the game while the offensive line was able to hold separation throughout the contest. Justin Suder also provided key moments on kickoff, pinning the visiting Knights on a pair of occasions.
The Western Carolina Knights are also no stranger to the semi-professional world. The team was formerly from Asheville, but a new team was formed with remnants of the previous team taking part in their current endeavors.
Former Unicoi County linemen Trevor Berry and Anthony Harris saw considerable time on the line while multiple local products were part of the contest. Jonathan Ponce, Jonathan Davis, Ryan Simmons and Tyler Whitson were among other local products to come up across the field.
Information on the Knights can be found on different outlets online. Visit for the team’s website and the team can also be found on Facebook by searching for Erwin Knights. A roster of the team is provided on the website.
The Knights will look to steady their march in the WCFL on Saturday, April 18, with a contest scheduled against the East Tennessee Pirates at Gentry Stadium.
Each game features a concession stand, operated by the Gridiron Club, with proceeds going to the Unicoi County High School football program.