Cherokee quarterback Hunter Wingfield, a typical running back starting in the place of injured starter Spencer Ashley, led the Warriors (1-7, 0-5 Region 5AAAAAA) to two first downs and 40 yards before Roswell’s Grant Beidel ripped the ball from Wingfield’s hands and took off running the other direction. Beidel went 61 yards for the opening touchdown of the game, and the Hornets (2-6, 1-4) had the spark they needed.
“We have been a slow starting team all year long,” Roswell coach Justin Sanderson said. “We needed that shot in the arm.”
Sanderson said he wasn’t surprised with how his team started the game.
“We could barely keep the kids in the locker room before the game because they were beating on the cages and trying to get out,” he said. “They were ready for this one.”
Cherokee coach Josh Shaw could not be reached for comment after the game.
Roswell shut Cherokee down after the first part of the opening drive. The Warriors only gained 155 yards after the opening drive and made only two offensive first downs in the second half.
Cherokee rushed for 146 yards and scored its lone touchdown late in the game. After Roswell pushed the lead to 27-0, Cherokee running back Blake Johnston took the handoff on fourth down with 2:40 remaining in the game and scored on a 14-yard scamper.
Johnston led the Warriors with 82 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Neither offense could get things going early. Beidel’s score stood as the only points until Roswell tailback Andrew Kwateng sped past the defense and down the sideline for a 69-yard touchdown run with 51 seconds to go in the first quarter.
Kwateng and tailback Mechane Slade combined to rush for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Slade scored on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
Hornets quarterback Ryan Monty scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter to give Roswell a 20-0 lead it took into halftime.