By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
For better or worse, youth was on display on both sides of the ball at the 2013 edition of the Cherokee County Clash Friday night at Thompson Field.
Sequoyah junior quarterback Zach Parish threw for two first half touchdowns and sophomore Justin Hooper added two rushing touchdowns en route to a 34-0 homecoming win over the Keys Cougars (1-4, 1-1 District 3A-7).
“This was a big win for us to get back in the hunt for a playoff spot in this league,” Sequoyah coach Shane Richardson said. “Keys is coming along and they’re going to get better and better. Coach (Gary) Willis and those guys do a great job.”
With seven seniors on their entire roster and underclassmen seeing the bulk of the game time so far this season, Keys’ offense was unable to click Friday night. The Cougars’ lone possession to reach inside the Sequoyah 10-yard line ended with one of Keys’ five lost fumbles on the night. After that second quarter turnover, the Cougars offense would not go past the 50-yard line the rest of the game.
After running for 118 yards last week against Westville, sophomore running back Dakota Matlock was limited to 44 yards on nine carries.
Compounding Keys’ offensive struggles was a second quarter injury to one of the team’s few veteran players.
With 14.4 seconds to play before halftime, Cougars senior Seth Alsenay went down hard at midfield with a knee injury after rushing Parish out of the pocket. Alsenay had to be helped off of the field and did not return in the second half due to what the Keys coaching staff described as an either bruised or strained left knee.
“We knew it was going to be this kind of year,” Willis said. “We’ve got seven sophomores and three freshmen on the field about 90 percent of the time. It’s going to be a tough year and we’re going to take our lumps, but it is what it is.”
Sequoyah (3-2, 1-1) travels to winless Westville (0-5, 0-2) next week. The Yellowjackets lost 70-14 Friday night at Locust Grove.
Keys steps out of district play next week to play at Class 2A Vian (5-0, 2-0 District 2A-6). The Wolverines shut out Antlers Friday night, 41-0.
“We’ve got a young football team and so do they (Keys),” Richardson said. “We’ve got to keep winning if we want to be in the mix at the end.”
Sequoyah 34, Keys 0
KEYS 0 0 0 0 0
SEQUOYAH 13 14 7 0 34
Sequoyah — Hunter Crow seven-yard run (kick blocked)
Sequoyah — Caisen Green 80-yard reception from Zach Parish (Everett Farris kick)
Sequoyah — Green 28-yard reception from Parish (Farris kick)
Sequoyah — Justin Hooper nine-yard run (Farris kick)
Sequoyah — Hooper eight-yard run (Farris kick)
Team stats Keys Sequoyah
First downs 6 15
Rush yards 42 105
Pass comp-att 7-19 12-25
Pass yards 72 209
Interceptions 2 0
Fumbles-Lost 6-5 2-2
Punts-avg 3-35 3-43
Penalties-yds 3-24 6-65