Never have all three started a season 3-0, and it won’t happen this year either, as Cherokee and Etowah will meet next week in the Region 5AAAAAA opener for both programs.
In 2007, the only other time all three teams were 2-0, Etowah beat Woodstock 16-0 in the third game of the season.
Sequoyah, which lost to Etowah on Friday in its season opener, was the only other county team active this week as both Creekview (0-1) and River Ridge (0-1) had a bye.
Cherokee beat North Forsyth 42-14 on Friday and has now scored four times as many points as its opponents this season.
Etowah also had a similar amount of success on offense. On Friday, the Eagles beat Sequoyah 34-10, but they had only given up three points until the final minute of the game.
After the game, Etowah coach Dave Svehla praised his defense.
“I thought they did a great job of stepping up on big downs,” Svehla said. “We gave up three points through most of the game. They had opportunities to get more points, but I felt like our defense made good plays at good times. I tip my cap to our defensive players because they kept playing hard.”
Woodstock’s victory against Johns Creek was notable for several reasons. While the 9-0 margin was small, it was the first time since 2011 that the Wolverines had shut out and opponent.
It also gave Woodstock back-to-back wins over Johns Creek. The Wolverines had not defeated an opponent in consecutive meetings since beating Cherokee in 2011 and ’12.
Cherokee coach Josh Shaw saw Woodstock’s win over Johns Creek as a positive for Region 5AAAAAA, which is scheduled to face the Gladiators’ Region 6AAAAAA in the opening round of the state playoffs.
“Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but Woodstock beat Johns Creek, which is in that region, and we beat Chattahoochee and North Forsyth, which are both in that region,” Shaw said. “We have played three of those region teams and done great. Our region teams have fared well against out-of-region opponents. It’s always a good thing when our region teams do well against teams from other good regions.”
Sequoyah may have lost to Etowah, but coach James Teter said the key will be continuing to improve.
“Back at it next week,” he said. “We’ll go Monday and get ready for (Blessed Trinity) and see what we can do to keep getting better. Hopefully, we can keep growing and we’ll be OK.”
WARDROBE WOES: Cherokee debuted new uniforms, but not by choice, and not without a bit of confusion for the fans.
Each year, when the senior members of the football team is set to graduate, they are given their football jersey at a banquet and replacements are ordered for the next season.
According to Shaw, the Cherokee football program has a contract with Under Armour, which was not able to provide the replacement black jerseys in a timely fashion.
“It’s been a major issue,” Shaw said. “The black ones haven’t come in yet, which is why we wore our white ones for pictures and for everything up to this time.”
In an effort to make up for the delay, Shaw said Under Armour would ship a complete set of uniforms to Cherokee to wear while the black uniforms remain on order. That would have been the end of the issue, had all 99 numbers arrived at Cherokee prior to kickoff Friday.
When the coaching staff began putting uniforms together, they found they were missing Nos. 1-12, as well a few others.
“We had to have some guys wear different numbers,” Shaw said. “We moved some guys around a little bit. They will get it worked out, and for the next game, we’ll be good to go.”
BACK ’EM UP: Etowah was penalized nearly 100 yards, with many of the calls coming against the offense.
Svehla said it wasn’t anything he planned to lecture his players about after the game.
“Our penalties were aggressive penalties, where we had guys blocking other players and engaged with other players,” he said. “We have to cut that down a little bit, but I’m not going to get too concerned. When we have our hands inside and we are pushing a guy all over the field, they said that was holding, and there is nothing we are going to do about that physical play.”
OPENING IT UP: Five of Cherokee County’s six football teams will face region opponents this week, but not all of them will count in the standings.
While Cherokee will be playing at Etowah, Woodstock will host Wheeler in Region 5AAAAAA action.
River Ridge will play North Atlanta at Grady Stadium. Both teams are in Region 7AAAAA, but in different subregions. Still, the game will be counted as a non-region game since River Ridge will play its region crossover with North Springs the following week.
Sequoyah will host Blessed Trinity in its home opener, while hosts Riverwood in a Region 7AAAAA crossover.
TIME OFF: School will not be in session Monday because of Labor Day, so several teams decided to pass the break along to the football teams.
All of the teams are scheduled to practice Monday, mostly in the morning, but several coaches gave their players Saturday off.