By: Lee Ramsey
The Seymour Eagles defeated the Cherokee Chiefs by a score of 28-22 to claim their second IMAC victory in a row. It’s been a while since that has happened.
The win gives the Eagles a 3-6 overall record and 2-3 in the conference.
The Eagles have been improving all year long and they went to Rogersville with a lot of confidence after a big win over the South-Doyle Cherokees the week before at home.
“We’ve been getting better all year,” said Seymour Coach Jim Moore. “We had a bunch of young kids at the start of the season but they aren’t young anymore.
“They’re playing better. Hard work is paying off.”
The game started slow in a defensive battle with both teams feeling each other out.
Against the tough ‘bend but don’t break’ defense of the Eagles, as the Chiefs moved the ball 25 yards in 6 running plays but stalled on a third and long.
The Chiefs were forced to punt but the snap was bad. The punter ran the ball 26 yards giving the Chiefs a first down deep in Seymour territory.
The Eagles defense stiffened again and held the Chiefs to no score after they went for the first down on 4 and 2 on the Seymour 5 yard line.
The Blue and Gold got their hands on the ball for the first time in the game with just six minutes to go in the 1st quarter and they were off to the races.
Suddenly, an offense that has been AWOL most of the season showed up with a vengeance and exploded by going on a 95 yard scoring drive in just five plays.
After runs by QB Dustin Fain and running back Lee Knight, Fain connected with senior Cory Clark on a 20 yard strike.
The next play Knight exploded with a 63 yard blast to the Chiefs 7 yard line.
Knight then finished what he started with a 7 yard touchdown scamper.
The conversion failed and the score stood 6-0 Seymour.
Cherokee came back with a long 36 yard pass but again, the Eagle ‘bend but don’t break’ defense stiffened and stopped the Chiefs on 4th and 4 when Kevin Taylor of Seymour sacked the QB.
The first quarter ended with Seymour on top 6-0.
The second quarter began in dramatic fashion with a 70 touchdown pass from Fain to Clark.
Seymour went for two and Knight waltzed into the end zone making the score 14-0.
The Chiefs finally answered with a 63 yard scoring drive combining runs and passes. The two point conversion was good and the score stood 14-8 Seymour and that’s how the first half ended.
Seymour started the second half where it left off with an unfamiliar explosive offense. It was as if a sleeping giant had awakened.
Again, led by Knight with a 43 yard run and Fain on a 2 yard keeper for the TD, Seymour increased their lead. Knight finished the game with 155 yards rushing.
The 2 point conversion failed and Seymour led 20-8.
Seymour kicked off short and Cherokee made a nice return giving them the ball at mid field.
The Eagles shot themselves in the foot by committing 3 penalties in a Chief’s drive that led to a touchdown making the score 20-16 Seymour after the conversion. On the drive, Cory Clark reinjured his ankle that has been a problem most of the year and had to leave the game. The senior’s absence is a big disadvantage to Seymour on offense and defense. Clark didn’t return.
Seymour was then forced to punt. The loss of Clark was obvious, especially on offense.
The third quarter came to a close as the Chiefs had possession and the score stood 20-16 Seymour.
The Eagle’s defense once again shut down the Chiefs offense and they were forced to punt.
Seymour’s Branson White returned the punt 50 yards and the refs tacked on 15 more for a horse collar tackle by the Chiefs.
This put the ball on the Cherokee 14 but without Clark, Seymour looked like the offense of old and turned the ball over on downs.
Cherokee quickly took advantage of the stop by air mailing a 77 yard touchdown pass.
The score stood 22-20 Cherokee after the conversion failed.
The Chiefs thought they had the Eagle’s offense figured out by keying on Knight, but they didn’t.
With time running out Seymour’s Kennedy showed them they didn’t with a 51 yard romp for a touchdown.
The conversion failed but Seymour prevailed with their second straight win 28-22.
“It was great effort,” Moore said. “We talked about it all week and did exactly what we needed to do.
I’m just proud of these kids. They played hard, got behind, and came right back. I feel real good.”
Seymour wraps their season up next week at home against Morristown West.
Eagles Victorious Over Chiefs
By: Lee Ramsey