MADISONVILLE вЂ” Sloppiness kept one team from tying its largest margin of victory in school history and the other team from scoring any points at all.
Sequoyah stopped a touchdown and extra point shy of that mark against Monroe County rival Tellico Plains, settling for the 41-0 win over Monroe County rival Tellico Plains Friday night at Sequoyah High School in the season opener for both teams.
Both squads had problems keeping possession at times, with the Bears coughing up the ball seven times on four fumbles and three interceptions. The Chiefs gave it away four times themselves.
"I thought the field had a little to do with that," said Sequoyah coach Bill Satterfield, noting the field that was soaked by storms that rolled over through the week.
Tellico Plains coach John Mullinax was not about to use the field as an excuse.
"We played on the same field," he said.
The Bears managed to hold Sequoyah's opening drive to a three-and-out, then advance the ball from their 18 to their 42-yard line to flip field position before punting.
But SequoyahвЂ™s Garrett Dalton returned the punt to TellicoвЂ™s 45-yard line, and the Chiefs took six plays and 2:34 off the clock to punch in their first score. Running back Drew Carson busted two straight 14-yard runs to set up first-and-goal at the Tellico 3, which he finished off the next play for the first of his four scores on the night.
However, the snap for the extra point attempt was flubbed, forcing quarterback/kicker Brett King to try making a play for two points, which failed, leaving the Chiefs ahead only 6-0. It was a bit of a theme for the night, with Sequoyah only ever getting one extra point attempt through the uprights.
"We've got to get the right combination on our extra points," Satterfield said. "Center, holder, kicker, we can take care of that."
Tellico's Dwayne Hollingshead, who finished 8-of-16 with two picks, answered immediately with a 28-yard pass to Devin Collier on a wheel route to get past midfield, but the Bears' fortunes quickly reversed when the Chiefs stripped Collier and recovered the fumble.
Sequoyah marched right back down, with King's 18-yard strike to Alex Stakely getting back into Tellico territory, followed by a 15-yard scamper from Carson. King's 11-yarder to Matt Gletty on a fourth-and-5 kept the Chiefs alive, moved them to the Tellico 2 and set up Carson for his second score.
"I thought we played early," Mullinax said. "We stopped them, made them punt, but they kept smacking us and busting us in the mouth, and we'd make a mistake. You can't do that and have any kind of chance."
The two squads exchanged turnovers вЂ” a Tellico pick and a Sequoyah fumble вЂ” their next respective possessions, and the Chiefs then stopped the Bears on fourth down.
King hit Dalton вЂ” who had seven catches for 98 yards on the night вЂ” on passes of 18 and 35 yards to set up Carson for No. 3 on the ground from a yard out, and King found Evan Torbett for the 2-point conversion to make up for some of the Chiefs' kicking problems and get the 20-0 lead.
Sequoyah could have stretched its lead even more before the half, but King вЂ” who had an otherwise impressive night passing going 19-23 for 216 yards вЂ” threw his lone pick in the red zone to Tellico's Jordan McGovern.
"We had some receivers take a play off and not run the route the way itвЂ™s supposed to be run," Satterfield said of the interception.
Mullinax, on the other hand, cited a lack of leadership for the game getting out of hand on his team.
"I don't think our seniors showed up," he said. "Our seniors have got to lead our football team. We've got some seniors who can play but they got to meet the challenge.
"That's a good team. Not taking anything away from them. They might be as good anybody we play. But we beat ourselves in a lot of areas. Fumbles. Jumping offside. We had our chances вЂ” missed some wide-open passes вЂ” to at least score, not win the game. ThereвЂ™s no doubt the better team won."
MATCHING A STREAK: With the win Friday, Sequoyah ran its winning streak against Tellico Plains to four games dating back to 2010, matching the BearsвЂ™ streak in the series from 1999-2002. Sequoyah leads the all-time series, 12-7.
SEQUOYAH 41, TELLICO PLAINS 0
TP 0 0 0 0 вЂ” 0
SQ 12 8 13 8 вЂ” 41
SQ 5:40 вЂ” Drew Carson 3 run (2 pt. conversion failed)
6 plays, 45 yards, 2:34, 6-0
SQ 2:42 вЂ” Carson 2 run (2 pt. conversion failed)
7 plays, 51 yards, 2:38, 12-0
SQ 8:27 вЂ” Carson 1 run (Brett King pass to Evan Torbett)
3 plays, 54 yards, 0:45, 20-0
SQ 3:48 вЂ” King 17 pass to Torbett (King kick)
4 plays, 31 yards, 0:55, 27-0
SQ 2:17 вЂ” Carson 1 run (kick missed)
2 plays 24 yards, 0:40, 33-0
SQ 10:05 вЂ” Caleb Miner 3 run (King pass to Isiah Black)
4 plays, 49 yards, 1:42, 41-0
First Downs 11 22
Rushes-Yards 44-113 26-139
Passing Yards 97 216
Comp-Att-Int 9-18-3 19-23-1вЂўsportseditor@advocateanddemocrat.com | 337-7101