The third-seeded Chiefs (8-2) will be facing one of the toughest No. 2 seeds in Class AAAAA. The Spartans (9-1) tied North Paulding for the best record in Region 5AAAAA, but they’re the second seed after losing the head-to-head meeting by just three points.
Led by senior quarterback Chandler Burks, a Kennesaw State commitment, South Paulding is certainly a force to reckon with.
Burks has more than 3,200 all-purpose yards on the season, having rushed the ball for more than 1,100 yards and 15 touchdown, while adding 2,100 passing yards and anther 17 touchdowns.
Even if Sequoyah’s defense can contain Burks, there’s another top player to contend with in Jae Brown. The senior running back adds more than 1,400 yards of offense and another 17 touchdowns.
As much trouble as the Chiefs will have slowing down the South Paulding offense, the Sequoyah offense is going to have trouble breaking through the opposing defense.
South Paulding has held its opponents to fewer than 17 points in each of its last four games. It hasn’t allowed more than 30 points to any team since falling to North Paulding 31-28 on Oct. 4.
Still, the Chiefs can’t be counted out of the game. Each week, they have continued to improve.
Sequoyah hasn’t lost since Oct. 4, when it fell to Creekview 17-14. The offense has improved its timing, while the defense got a boost when quarterback Lex Lauletta began playing both ways.
After just two games playing both quarterback and safety, Lauletta made the first interception of his career two weeks ago and, last week, intercepted another pass and returned it for a touchdown.
The senior said the defensive position is a natural fit for him.
“They moved me back to play safety in the past couple of games, but it’s still pretty new to me,” Lauletta said. “I just get to play center field and read the quarterback’s eyes. Playing quarterback for so many years on offense has given me an advantage because I know a lot about the defense and where I wouldn’t throw it in a situation. I just get to use my athleticism to go and get the ball.”
Lauletta will need some help from his teammates tonight if they are to upset the Spartans. Other key players on offense will be the Chiefs’ running back committee, which is led by Jake Garner. Adam Patterson and Sam Rogers should also contribute.
On defense, the team is led in tackles by Peter Rohan, with 109 on the season, and Chris Riddle with 92. Billy Lummus has two interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and three touchdowns on defense.