Injuries, penalties hamper Seymour
Costly penalties and injuries seem to be the twin horns of Seymour’s dilemma as a football team this season, and that continued to be the case on Friday night in a 34-14 loss to South-Doyle in Knoxville.
Mixing passes by Nick Sexton with runs from Tanner Sise, the Eagles (2-4, 1-2 District 2-AAA) opened the game with a drive from their own 20-yard line to the Cherokee 35. That’s when a holding call followed by two incomplete passes stalled the effort.
It was a pattern repeated throughout the evening each time the Seymour offense seemed to gather some momentum in what remained a close game until the final quarter.
In the first half, a sack ended the Eagles’ second drive, while back-to-back penalties, including an intentional grounding call, stalled the third. The third quarter saw a touchdown drive of 80 yards that would have closed the score to 14-7 negated by a flag.
Only in the final quarter did Seymour avoid mistakes well enough to release the potential of a combined aerial and ground attack for quick touchdown drives. But by then South-Doyle’s potent ground game had eaten up too much clock and scored too many points for an Eagle comeback.
Seymour coach Jim Moore lamented leaving points on the field in the first three quarters, but he emphasized that the Eagles, who have suffered various injuries to this point in the season, had players hurting on both sides of the ball.
“We had some injuries and the depth issue got to us,” Moore. “We had some injuries to two of our four secondary people who were playing and an injury to our outside linebacker, and we were already down one secondary person from the week before.
“So all of a sudden you’re down four on perimeter defense and against a team like (South-Doyle), you’ve got to have those perimeter players.”
The offense was not without its share of physical setbacks either.
“We lost Blaise Rooney, our second leading receiver in the first quarter,” Moore said. “Larry Kennedy is coming in and out with a busted chin, so he plays about two thirds of the game. We were just wore out.”
Moore had praise, however, for backup players who competed hard despite their lack of reps.