By: Lee Ramsey
Former legendary coach of The University of Tennessee General Robert Neyland had 7 maxims for winning football games. The Tennessee Volunteers still repeat them before every game.
The first maxim is ‘The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win’. The second is ‘Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – score.’
The opposite has been the case for the Seymour Eagles most of the season. They have usually been the team with the most mistakes and that was the case last Friday night against the Smoky Bears as the Eagles committed 7 turnovers (5 fumbles and 2 interceptions) in a 48-3 shellacking.
The Smoky Bears proved the second maxim to be very true as they returned two fumbles for touchdowns and quickly cashed in on other turnovers with scoring drives.
Seymour’s offense can be very productive without the mistakes but those mistakes have to be eliminated to win football games.
Even without mistakes it would have been difficult, but not impossible for Seymour to beat Sevier County. The Smoky Bears have one of the most potent offenses in the IMAC while the Eagles have struggled somewhat defensively all year.
The 45 point spread did not necessarily reflect the true difference in the two teams however. Elimination of mistakes would have tightened the game considerably.
The Seymour offense showed they were capable of moving the ball on Sevier County as they cashed in on a field goal after a 12 play opening drive. The defense also showed it could stop the Bears as it did on several possessions.
After that drive, however, it was all downhill for the Eagles with mistake after mistake.
“You come out the first drive and look like world beaters,” Seymour Coach Jim Moore said. “Then we commit turnovers and Merry Christmas.
“We’ve got to quit giving games away and see if people can actually beat us. That’s all we’ve worked on and then come out here and lay an egg like this.”
Sevier County answered with a long TD pass; then the dam broke for the Eagles as they turned the ball over deep in their own territory which was the first of many.
Seymour’s next turnover didn’t take long as Sevier County intercepted at mid field. The Eagles defense rose to the occasion stopping the Bears.
That was followed by another Eagle interception. The pass was to Mitchell Miller who landed on his head going for the ball. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken by ambulance. Caution always has to be used with neck injuries. The latest report is that Miller is okay.
After the delay, the Bears scored on a quick 5 play 95 yard TD drive.
After yet another Seymour fumble, the Bears scored again on a 21 yard pass to make the score 27-3 with 2:41 in the half.
On the next possession, Seymour gave the Bears another TD on a fumble which they returned 25 yards for a TD and a 34-3 halftime lead. Everyone in the stadium at that point knew who would win the game just not the final score.
In the second half Sevier County’s explosive offense took up where it left off scoring a TD on their first drive. The score then stood 40-3 Sevier County.
Another Eagle fumble was converted for another TD by the Bears and after the conversion the scoring ended 48-3. The subs finished the game scoreless.
“We’re just not in sync,” Moore said. “We’re just not doing things right. We’re just making too many mistakes.
“Turnovers will kill you. We’ve had that all year long. It’s been one game after another.”
Things don’t get any easier for the Eagles as they host Morristown East next.
Eagles Fall to Sevier County
By: Lee Ramsey