By: Lee Ramsey
“There are vultures out there who are trying to pick our bones clean while we’re down. But I can tell them one thing; they had better pick while the picking’s good because we’re going to continue to fight, scratch, claw and kick and do whatever we can do legally to win.” That quote was from former University of Tennessee football Coach Johnny Majors in 1977 the first year he took over at U.T.
Their situation was very similar to the current Seymour Eagles’ very young with lack of depth and numbers. Make no mistake about it, Seymour will grow from young Eagles to mighty Eagles before all is said and done. Sooner or later Seymour will have the numbers to become a powerful football program in the IMAC.
Last Friday night the Eagles dropped their second game in a row by losing to the third ranked CAK Warriors 35-19. The score doesn’t tell the whole story however with this young Seymour football team staying within striking distance the entire game.
The game opened on a beautiful night before a large enthusiastic crowd, with the infamous Charlie Householder on the PA system. It was a perfect night for football.
From the outset the young Eagles could see what they were up against facing probably the most prolific passer in the KIL, CAK quarterback Quinn Epperly.
Last year the Warrior quarterback threw for almost 2,700 yards.
Against Seymour’s young sophomore dominated secondary, Epperly threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns.
With Seymour in man coverage, Epperly was able to connect on a few long balls which came from critical Eagle mistakes.
Eagle’s safety Corey Heard spoke about it, “I thought we played well. We just didn’t execute on a couple of plays and they went deep on us.”
Seymour’s young Eagles stood tough most of the game against the larger, faster more experienced CAK football team. The Eagles’ sophomore secondary made mistakes but also looked brilliant at times. The inconsistency is another sign of youth.
CAK scored first on a 85 yard scoring drive with a mixture of short passes on the corners, draws, and then long passes.
Seymour responded with a 65 yard gallop by Lee Knight for a touchdown. The PAT tied the score at 7-7.
Although this Seymour team is building for the future Seymour head coach Jim Moore is still optimistic about the present, “I feel like we’ve improved tremendously since last week and that we’ll improve even more before next week’s game.”
The score stood 21-7 at the half but there was still a lot of football remaining.
Seymour moved the ball well the entire game getting into the red zone several times and piling up a total of 16 first downs but struggled to get the ball into the end zone.
The Eagles offense controlled the ball for over 10 minutes of the 3rd quarter with one drive going 62 yards for a touchdown. During that drive, Seymour went for it on CAK’s 32 yard line when it was 4 and 11 making the first down to keep the drive alive.
CAK answered with a drive going 63 yards and consuming over 2 minutes of the clock.
Seymour mounted another drive in the fourth quarter scoring a touchdown. They went for two but failed making the final score 35-19. When asked if playing two top 10 ranked teams in the state their first two games of the season would help them down the road, Coach Moore responded, “Definitely, Oh definitely; It will definitely help us. If you want to play weaker teams just to get a win and play your starters a quarter or half the game, that’s not going to help you much.”
“It’s nice to win a game. I’d like to be 2 and 0 right now. I think this is going to help us. We’re not far from being 2 and 0. This will help us next week at Cocke County.”
Cocke County is Seymour’s first district game in the IMAC.
“This is the first game that counts (in the district standings). I think we’ll be ready for it,” he added. “We came out of these first two games injury free.”
That’s a big plus for a team that is lacking depth.
The Eagles need fan support. They are also in need of equipment and would appreciate any support for the football booster club.
Young Eagles Stand Tall in Loss
By: Lee Ramsey