Sevier County cruises by Morristown West
The Sevier County Smoky Bears earned their 22nd-straight IMAC conference win Friday night with a 63-28 pummeling of visiting Morristown West.
It marked the Bears’ fifth-straight victory over the Trojans since joining the league in 2009.
The Bears (4-0, 2-0 in District 2-AAA) scored early and often en route to a 42-14 halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way to the 35-point win.
Morristown West moved the ball all night on the ground, but had trouble holding onto the ball. The Trojans had six turnovers in the game and also had a punt blocked by the Bears’ Jesse Adams.
Surprisingly, West out-gained Sevier County, 534-329, while accumulating 31 first downs to the Bears’ 17.
“It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?” Sevier County coach Steve Brewer said.
Sevier County led 21-7 before quarterback Luke Manning completed his first pass of the contest.
“Special teams just did a great job tonight,” Brewer said. “(And) we had some key turnovers on defense, which I thought was a key also. I was glad to see us be ball-hawkers tonight. We picked off our first two passes of the season tonight, returned one of them for a touchdown, and (recovered) several fumbles which stopped their drives, which was key.”
SC junior Jeffrey Miles set the tone for the game with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the game’s opening seconds.
Miles weaved back and forth between the maroon special teamers from West and kicked in the afterburners as he crossed midfield, igniting the Bears’ sideline.
After the Trojans answered with a clock-eating touchdown drive to knot the score, SC needed just six plays to drive 63 yards to pull back in front on a 21-yard Dorian Banks TD run. The sophomore flashed his speed on the run, turning the corner and burning a slew of defenders down the sideline.
A 92-yard interception return TD for sophomore Hunter Miniard came two and half minutes later to end what had been an impressive drive for Morristown West.
Touchdown passes from Manning to Ben Ogle (40 yards), Walker Kesterson (18) and Alan Silva (24) pushed the SCHS lead to 42-14 by half.
After the break the Trojans again mounted a nice drive, only to fumble the ball away deep in SC territory.
A Bears’ three-and-out gave the Trojans good field position on their next possession, however, and a 50-yard TD run from Zach Pell made it look as though West would make it a game in the second half.
But the Bears outscored them 21-7 the rest of the way, invoking the mercy-rule and allowing for a running clock throughout most of the fourth quarter.
Banks added on another 21-yard TD jaunt, while sophomore Devonte Matthews returned a West punt 48 yards for a score and Miniard caught Manning’s fourth TD pass of the night.
West tacked on its fourth score of the game late, making the final 63-28 margin.
“I’m pleased that our kids found a way to win, found a way to score points and keep them off the board in the second half,” Brewer said.
Manning finished the game 13-for-21 passing for 188 yards and the four scores. Dalton Ford led the Bears with five catches for 29 yards, while Alan Silva’s 54 receiving yards was a team high among nine players that caught passes.
Banks led the team in rushing with 55 yards on seven carries.
Zach Pell led Morristown West with 217 yards on 19 carries as a part of the Trojans’ 384-yard rushing night.