Warriors top Chiefs after dominating second half
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
September 07, 2013 02:00 AM | 3120 views | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cherokee quarterback Spencer Ashley tries to slip past a Sequoyah lineman Friday at Skip Pope Stadium. Ashley helped the Warriors pull away from a 14-all halftime tie, and Cherokee advanced to 2-0 for the first time in six years.
<BR>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Cherokee quarterback Spencer Ashley tries to slip past a Sequoyah lineman Friday at Skip Pope Stadium. Ashley helped the Warriors pull away from a 14-all halftime tie, and Cherokee advanced to 2-0 for the first time in six years.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
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CANTON — Cherokee shut out Sequoyah in the second half, on its way to a 34-14 win Friday night at Skip Pope Stadium.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2007.

Cherokee coach Josh Shaw said the game came down to big players making big plays in the second half.

“We expect those guys to make big plays,” Shaw said. “We ride their shoulders, but what can get lost in the shuffle are our role players. We have some young guys playing, and to see how much they improved from the preseason to our first game to (Friday night) is amazing. They are getting better by the week. Those are the guys that are the glue of your team.”

Brandon Hrouda and Michael Bean were forces on defense, while sophomore Brittain Brown intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.

Cherokee and Sequoyah (1-1) were tied at 14-all going into the second half.

Cherokee received the ball to start the third quarter, and with Blake Johnston pacing the ground game, the Warriors moved the ball quickly.

Quarterback Spencer Ashley scored on an 8-yard run to cap the 57-yard drive, but the point-after attempt failed.

Trying to close the gap late in the third quarter, Sequoyah elected to go for it on fourth-and-short, but the Cherokee defense held and the ball was turned over on downs.

The Warriors moved the length of the field, and following a 15-yard run by Johnston, they found themselves on the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. A penalty backed the Warriors up 5 yards, but all that did was make Brown run a little further for what would be a 7-yard touchdown. The Warriors went for two and Dewayne Tiller toted the ball in for the 28-14 lead with 10:51 left in the game.

Sequoyah struggled to pick up a first down from that point on. The Chiefs were pinned inside their own 20-yard line 6 minutes later, desperately trying to move the ball. Sequoyah quarterback Lex Lauletta attempted a short pass only to have it picked off by Brown, who returned it for another score.

The point-after failed, making the score 34-14.

On their final possession of the game, the Chiefs drove the ball inside the Warriors 10, but they were backed up by penalties and eventually turned the ball over on downs.

In the first quarter, it was Sequoyah which struck first on a 40-yard run by Adam Patterson. The point-after kick was missed, and when Cherokee responded with a 1-yard run by Johnston early in the second quarter, the score was 7-6 in favor of the Warriors.

Johnston found the end zone again a few minutes later, this time running in from 3 yards for a 14-6 lead.

Sequoyah evened the score before the half, thanks largely to a Warrior fumble. While attempting a punt, the snap sailed long and landed in the end zone. A Cherokee player recovered the ball in the end zone and attempted to bring it out, only to be brought down on the 1-yard line. The ball went to Sequoyah, which scored with a 1-yard run by Lauletta, and the 2-point conversion knotted the score 14-all.

Johnston led Cherokee with 15 carries for 75 yards and two scores. Brown added 46 yards on nine carries and another 40 yards on three receptions. Blace Brown led the Warriors with five catches for 58 yards.

As for Sequoyah, Patterson led the team with six carries for 63 yards. Lauletta finished with 11 carries for 62 yards, though he took a 21-yard loss while scrambling late in the fourth quarter.
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