Sevier County blasts Cherokee
Despondent a week earlier, the Sevier County football team was swimming in points, yards and good feelings.
Friday's 56-14 rout of Cherokee made for one remarkable bounce back.
“In football especially, you've just got to have a real short memory,” said Smoky Bears junior Seth Arwood. “You can't let past games bother you. You've got to move forward. We had to focus on this game.”
Sevier County made a complete turnabout from last week's 55-6 loss to No. 1 Maryville, piling up 271 yards on the ground and another 204 through the air. The Bears (5-1, 3-0 2-AAA) scored on each of their first five possessions, slicing their way through theChiefs' defense with a pair of 10-play scoring drives in the first quarter. The defense did its part, holding Cherokee (2-4, 1-2 2-AAA) without a first down on five straight possessions in the second quarter.
Quarterback Luke Manning finished 14 of 24 for 195 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also had a rushing score. Zach Sauls had two first-half touches, both of them touchdowns. Jesse Adams caught two touchdowns, Joseph Hayes rushed for a score and Dorian Banks racked up a touchdown and 107 yards on the ground. Sophomore Hunter Cates added a second-half touchdown.
“I'm really proud of how we came out and played after last week's disappointment,” said Sevier County coach Steve Brewer. “I'm really proud of our defense. I thought they played inspired today and gave our offense plenty of possessions.”
Sevier County took short plays that the Chiefs gave them and turned them into touchdowns. Manning's scoring rush was a 26-yard scamper. Even better was Adams' second touchdown, a mid-range pass he caught over the middle before bouncing off defenders and running into the end zone for a 33-yard score.
“Honestly we were mad coming back from last Friday night,” Adams said. “We had to play and show we know how to play.”
Cherokee coach Mike Sivert said his team just didn't have the speed to keep up. Teagan Trent and Evan McCracken combined for 203 yards rushing but most of that came after the final play of the second quarter when the Chiefs were already down 42-0.
“They've had this system ever since we started playing them,” Sivert said. “This will be the fifth year. We had one decent year with them. We made some good plays early but we've been chasing them ever since and we can't catch them.”
The Bears hope nobody else in the Inter Mountain Athletic Conference can, either. Sevier County faces rival Seymour on the road next Thursday. A repeat performance would put the Bears well on their way to a second straight win.
“It was a big boost for us and our self-esteem,” Adams said. “We'll always be the team to keep going. Just move on from there.”