Points galore for Sevier County
Sevier County’s 63-28 win over Morristown West was a crazy game, with some even crazier numbers.
The Trojans had over 200 more total yards and 14 more first downs. They converted a higher percentage of third-down tries, too.
West even held the ball for more than double the Bears’ time of possession, 32:19 to 15:41.
But, in the end, the game was all Purple and White.
Sevier County piled up points at an incredible rate, especially in the first half — when it scored 42 on just 16 offensive plays.
The Bears were forcing turnovers, returning kicks and punts and continually setting up short-field opportunities for their quick-strike offense.
SCHS players scored in five different ways in the contest — receiving TDs, rushing TDs, a punt return score, kick return score and interception return touchdown.
It was a whirlwind performance by an up-tempo offense and opportunistic defense.
Sevier County will need every bit of that explosiveness next Friday against perennial state power Maryville.
The Rebels clobbered previously-unbeaten Hardin Valley 49-0 Friday night and haven’t lost a regular-season game since August of 2010.
Big day for a big catch
Sevier County’s Walker Kesterson’s first career TD Friday night catch came on a huge day for the 6-5 junior receiver.
The lanky playmaker’s father, Tim, had just returned from working as a contractor in Afghanistan and was there to see the monumental 18-yard TD catch for his son.
“This was the first game he’s been to in I don’t know how long,” Kesterson said. “It’s been so long since he’s been here. He just surprised us coming home. We didn’t even know he was going to be here.
“I’ve been sick all week. I wake up one day and he’s at the house. And then to come out here tonight and score tonight and be with my team, it just means everything.”
Kesterson said SC wide receivers coach Jonathan Brewer called the TD before the play was even run.
“J.B., our receivers coach, said, ‘This is going to be six points right here as long as you catch it.’ “ he said. “So I knew Luke could get the ball there, I just had to make the play. I saw it coming for me, and I just broke off the defender and did what I was supposed to do — what I was taught to do — caught the ball and scored.”
In all seven different Sevier County players found the end zone Friday night, not including quarterback Luke Manning, who was on the throwing end of four TD passes.
Jeffrey Miles, Dorian Banks (2), Ben Ogle, Kesterson, Alan Silva, Devonte Matthews and Hunter Miniard (2) all scored for the Purple and White.
“On offense we’ve got a lot of playmakers,” Matthews, who also had a 90-yard interception return TD called back, said. “We can rotate anybody we want and just keep rolling them in (successfully).”
Butuza blasts off
Junior kicker Paul Butuza has given the Bears a much-needed weapon on special teams: The ability to thwart any return from the opposing team’s kick-off return squad.
Butuza put every kick into the end zone Friday night, driving several almost through the back of the end zone.
The 6-0, 195-pound Romanian native looks as much like a high school linebacker as he does a kicker, but his thundering kicks have proven he’s found the right spot on the field for the Smoky Bears.