By: Lee Ramsey
Last Friday night was what high school football is all about. The Seymour Eagles football team pulled off some homecoming magic on senior night by defeating the Cherokee Chiefs 17-14 on Householder field. At the end of the game it was pandemonium as Seymour Players and students stormed the field.
The win over Cherokee who is 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the IMAC was a huge dose of just what the doctor ordered for the Eagles who are now 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the IMAC.
Seymour played much better than their record indicates as they showed that they were the better team. They came out with focus and determination with strong running and controlled passes.
Corey Todd ran like he was possessed with 127 yards rushing on 29 carries with an average of 4.38 yards per carry. He also caught one pass for 11 yards.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Seymour Head Coach Jim Moore. “I’m very excited about tonight and excited about the way our kids came out and played. You just couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Trailing 17-14 with 7:07 to go in the game the Chiefs committed their 4th turnover on a fumble recovered by the Eagles.
Seymour then went on a 10 play drive which consumed almost 5 minutes on the clock. This was a huge factor in the upset as the Eagles played smash mouth football pounding the ball with mostly runs by Todd mixed with passes by quarterback Nick Sexton. The drive ended at the Cherokee 23 yard line on a 4th and 2 with 2:30 to go in the game. The run for the first down ended up inches short and Cherokee had a last chance to win that failed.
“The offense played well,” said Moore. “We kept the ball alive. The running game came back. We hit the passes when we needed to. It was just a great job.”
When asked about Todd running the ball hard Moore responded, “Corey Todd always runs hard. He’s a horse.
“It was a team effort overall. Taylor Overton made a nice run (in the drive), Tanner Sise, Nick (Sexton). It was just a good team win.”
Another major factor in the win was the fact that Seymour only committed one turnover (interception). This was a major turnaround compared to other games this season. Coach Moore in the past has said he would like to see what would happen if their team could perform without numerous turnovers. Friday night he got his answer.
“It makes a huge difference,” said Moore. “Our defense played well also. It was a complete team effort.”
The Eagles struck first after the defense stopped the Chiefs on a seemingly arrogant decision to go for it 4th and 4 in their own territory. Seymour’s Eric White made the stop for an 8 yard loss.
The stop seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game as Seymour seemed to by saying, “We won’t be pushed around and we will be respected.”
Seymour drove the ball to the Cherokee 11 where the drive stalled after a 22 yard catch and run by Taylor Overton from Nick Sexton.
The field goal attempt was good by kicker J. J. Jerman and Seymour led 3-0 with 7:01 to go in the first quarter.
Again the Eagle defense rose to the occasion stopping Cherokee.
Seymour then mounted an 8 play, 75 yard drive, capped by an eight yard touchdown run by Todd. The PAT was good and the Eagles led 10-0 with 1:03 to go in the 1st quarter.
Again Cherokee moved the ball into Eagle territory but Seymour’s ‘bend but don’t break’ defense was effective.
Seymour didn’t move the ball and the Chiefs were back in business when they scored a TD on an 81 yard play. The PAT was no good and the score stood 10-6 Seymour with 7:45 to go in the half.
After trading possessions the score still stood 10-6 at the half.
After stopping the Eagles opening drive, the Chiefs scored a TD on a 38 yard pass play and 2 point PAT making it 14-10 Cherokee with 9:52 to go in the 3rd quarter.
After exchanges Seymour mounted another outstanding drive going 78 yards in 16 plays and taking 4 more minutes off the clock. The drive was topped off with a four yard run by Overton. Jerman made the PAT and the score stood 17-14 with 10:02 to go in the game.
The Chiefs made one last attempt and actually completed a long pass to the Seymour 2 yard line but the pass was called back on an offensive interference call and the game was over as the quarterback was sacked by the Eagles.
The win concluded Seymour’s home schedule.
Next week Seymour travels to face Morristown West, who is a top ten ranked team in the state.
Eagles Upset Cherokee
By: Lee Ramsey