“It’s an ugly win,” Chiefs coach James Teter said, “but it’s a win and I’ll take it.”
It took an offensive line dominating up front for Sequoyah (2-1) to win the Region 7AAAAA crossover, opening holes for the Chiefs’ Wing-T offense to accumulate 314 yards rushing. The line helped their ball-carriers average nearly 7 yards a carry, and they set up D.J. Austin and Jacob Garner for long runs on the game-winning fourth-quarter drive.
“Our offensive line has been starting since they were sophomores, and they played well (Friday),” Teter said. “We made a few little wrinkle changes because of (Riverwood’s) defense, but they dominated up front. They really didn’t stop us.”
They didn’t stop them early on as Miller and Lauletta each scored in the first quarter for a 14-0 Sequoyah lead. But Riverwood (2-1) answered back with three consecutive third-down conversions, finally capping off the drive with a 1-yard run by Logan Blackley to get on the board.
“I thought we played well in the first half — right until before halftime,” Teter said.
With less than a minute left, Riverwood quarterback Grant Drakeford avoided the Sequoyah defenders and heaved a long pass to the middle the field. The deflected ball was caught by Jah’Waun Walker at the Chiefs’ 37-yard line.
A play later, Drakeford avoided another rush and hit Walker in stride for a 37-yard touchdown and a 20-14 halftime score.
Teter spoke to his team about awareness at the break.
“We knew they were going to throw it,” he said. “I told them not to fall for silly things and remember what we’re playing for.”
Billy Lummus’ interception two plays into the third quarter stopped the Raiders’ momentum, and Sequoyah quieted the crowd with a long run by Lauletta before Miller scored his second touchdown of the night for a 26-14 lead.
But the Chiefs’ defense couldn’t salt the game away.
“We made some mistakes on reads,” Teter said. “People were open, but we didn’t see it.”
Drakeford answered with another scramble and long connection, this time to Stetson Myers for 36 yards. Two plays later, Tyler Blake rook an option pitch for a 14-yard touchdown run and cut the lead to 26-21.
Blake then added a 78-yard touchdown moments later to give the Raiders a 28-26 lead going into the final frame.
Lauletta was intercepted early in the fourth, and Riverwood started at its 12-yard line midway through the fourth. A big run by Walker got Riverwood from the shadow of its end zone, but it still came down to a fourth-down play. Drakeford rolled and nearly completed to Walker near the 10-yard line, but the ball fell to the turf.
That presented Sequoyah with its opportunity to prevail, which it did with one final time-consuming drive, capped by Miller’s 2-yard run.
After the Chiefs failed to convert a 2-point conversion, Riverwood had one final chance to retake the lead, but Lauletta picked off a pass thrown by his quarterback counterpart, Drakeford.