From Staff reports
SPERRY — Sequoyah has made a living of punishing opponents in the first quarter this season. That didn’t happen Friday night at Herrington Field.
Not to worry, though. The Indians more than made up for it in the second period.
Class 3A No. 8 Sequoyah put together a 28-point scoring barrage in the second quarter and cruised to a 42-7 victory over Sperry in a mid-season, non-district contest.
“We pressed it a little bit,” Sequoyah coach Brent Scott said of not scoring in the opening 12 minutes. “We didn’t panic, though. We took some chances there and didn’t come up with any points. But we knew the points were going to come.”
That they did.
Sequoyah (6-1) scored its first touchdown at the 10:33 mark of the second quarter, when quarterback Brayden Scott found Ryan Helsley for a 15-yard pass.
From there, the rout was on.
Karter Woodruff scored on an 11-yard TD run, Niko Hammer hauled in a 1-yard scoring pass and Cody Hooper caught an 18-yard TD pass from Scott as the Indians took a 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Hooper struck again in the third quarter, scoring on a 33-yard run less than two minutes into the third quarter. Woodruff would cap Sequoyah’s night offensively with his 51-yard TD reception from Scott with 7:53 left in the third period.
Robert Smith didn’t find the end zone for Sequoyah, but he did lead the Indians in both rushing and receiving. He rushed seven times for 93 yards while amassing 38 yards on four catches.
“He hadn’t played in four ball games, so it was exciting to see him be able to play,” Scott said of Smith, whose rush of 59 yards set up Hammer’s scoring catch in the second quarter.
“His statistics speak for themselves; he had a great night rushing and receiving. He’s just a kid you want to root for, and our locker room is happy for him.”
As a team, Sequoyah rushed for 286 yards on 35 carries. Woodruff added 85 yards on seven carries.
In the passing game, Scott completed 15 of 21 passes for 187 yards and four touchdowns.
And much like every game since Sequoyah’s letdown in Week 3 against Victory Christian, the Indians’ defense has been dominant. During its current four-game winning streak, Sequoyah has not allowed more than 13 points — with most of those points from Locust Grove, Keys, Westville and Sperry being scored during non-critical moments late in every contest.
The Indians limited Sperry (1-6) to 159 yards of total offense, 56 yards rushing and eight first downs. The Pirates also turned the ball over twice and punted six times.
“Statistically, if you’re going to look at it, it might not have been a great night,” Scott said of his club, which still managed to post 473 yards of total offense. “But defensively, the guys were good.”
Up next for Sequoyah is a home contest against Jay, which begins a difficult three-game stretch to close out the regular season. After Thursday night’s contest at Thompson Field against the Bulldogs, Sequoyah will take on Hilldale and Lincoln Christian.
Sequoyah’s final three games of the regular season will likely determine who claims the District 3A-7 crown.
“The next three weeks will be our toughest opponents,” Scott said. “Jay is really, really good and so are Hilldale and Lincoln Christian. You’ll find out more about us in the next three weeks.”
With three weeks to go in the regular season, Sequoyah and Hilldale (who beat Locust Grove on Friday night) are tied atop the 3A-7 standings at 3-0. Keys is third at 2-1, Jays is fourth at 2-2 and Lincoln Christian is in fifth place at 1-2.
“It sounds like a cliche, but we take it one game at a time,” Scott said. “We know what we’ve got to do, but with our opponents, we take it one game at a time.
“It’s that time of year where the grind sets in and makes it all fun.”