Chiefs eye shot at playoffs
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
October 24, 2013 01:06 AM | 1330 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jake Garner has been just one of many weapons Sequoyah’s used on the ground, and just one weapon the Chiefs will use against Northview.
<BR>Special photo by Branden Camp
Jake Garner has been just one of many weapons Sequoyah’s used on the ground, and just one weapon the Chiefs will use against Northview.
Special photo by Branden Camp
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It wasn’t all that long ago that Northview’s football program was considered an easy victory when it was on another team’s schedule.

The Titans, who played their first varsity games in 2002, achieved a school-best 5-5 mark in ’06. Since then, they’ve averaged just two wins per season.

But times have changed.

Sequoyah (5-2, 2-1) will host Northview (4-3, 2-1) on Friday for a game that has serious implications on the Region 7AAAAA (A) standings. The winner will position itself as the No. 2 team, setting up a contest against the No. 3 team of the other subregion for a state playoff spot.

In years past, when Northview was considered a walkover, Sequoyah likely would have been feeling pretty good about now. But Chiefs coach James Teter knows this game could easily go either way.

“They have been playing really well,” said Teter, whose team survived a 58-48 slugfest with the Titans in 2012. “Much better than they have in the past. It’s going to be challenging. They are pretty good.”

Northview opened the subregion portion of its season with a victory over Cambridge, then lost by a field goal to Creekview before rebounding with a 35-point victory over North Springs.

The Titans’ spread offense has effectively moved the ball with Justin Westbrook, Matty Biondich, Connor Proctor and Connor Segraves on the receiving end of long passes from D.J. Pearson.

Meanwhile, the defense has stepped up, although not consistently.

Teter said the key to the Chiefs’ success Friday will rest with wearing down Pearson and his receivers.

“They spread it out pretty good and sling it all over the place, and we just have to find a way to slow them down,” he said.

As much as Northview has shown improvement this season, Teter thinks his players have as well. He credits that for Sequoyah’s recent success.

“We just keep getting better at what we do,” Teter said. “The reason we have won the last couple of weeks is that we keep getting better at what we do. We just try to get better at alignments and assignments.”

Quarterback Lex Lauletta and running back Jake Garner continue to drive Sequoyah’s offense, but they certainly aren’t the only ones making gains. The Chiefs used eight different ball-carriers when they beat Forsyth Central, with four — Lauletta, Garner, Blake Miller and Trey Mitchell — each rushing for more than 60 yards.

So far, the running back-by-committee approach has served more than adequate for Sequoyah, and Teter has no plans to change that. Using multiple backs allow each player to play to his own strength, while keeping him fresh and ready to run.

It also means that, if one back isn’t having a good game, or he happens to get hurt, the game plan won’t have to change.

“It’s worked for us this far,” Teter said. “We’ll do it again (against Northview).”

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