Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 19, 2012

Sequoyah blasts Jay to set up district showdown with Hilldale

Sequoyah head coach Brent Scott has been anticipating the return of Robert Smith for weeks. Thursday night, onlookers at Thompson Field saw why.

Smith followed up his 146-yard performance of a week ago, sparking the Indians with 83 yards and a touchdown to help ignite a 46-24 rout of Jay.

“We’re glad to get him back,” said Scott. “He’s just a senior that has worked hard and has fun playing football. You just like to see a kid out there playing that comes to practice every day and even when he wasn’t playing, he still ran hard, played scout team, always had a smile on his face. You appreciate a kid that goes to work every day and you want to reward him.”

Early on, the Bulldogs looked up to the task of challenging Sequoyah, as quarterback Shai Jones led a Bill Snyder-esque, 10-play, 30-yard drive. The Indian defense stiffened, however, turning Jay over on downs near midfield.

“[Kansas State] is exactly what it is,” said Scott. “They overload you on one side and if you shift they come back to the other side. They’re a very well coached football team. We needed a game like that to kind of be a gauge for us.”

Two possessions later, a Ryan Helsley interception set Sequoyah up at its own 45 yard line. The Indians scored three plays later, when Helsley hauled in a 49-yard touchdown toss from Brayden Scott. Forrest Cully added the point after, and SHS led 7-0.

A three-and-out for the Bulldogs followed, and then it was Sequoyah’s turn to engineer a lengthy drive.

Scott completed passes to four different players, the last of which resulted in a 27-yard connection to Smith, setting up first and goal from the 4-yard line. Karter Woodruff took care of the rest, powering in from there. Cully’s point after pushed the margin to 14.

On the ensuing kickoff Smith popped the football loose from Jay return man Brooks Carroll, Greydon Elrod scooped and scored from five yards out. Cully again add the extra point, and Sequoyah led 21-0.

 After Jay put itself on the board with a 5-yard touchdown toss from Jones to Stephen Tanner, the Indians responded with a 13-play, 63-yard drive. The series culminated with yet another Scott-to-Ryan Helsley pitch and catch, this one from 15-yards out, just 20 seconds prior to halftime. Cully’s conversion attempt failed, and the Indians took a 27-6 lead into the locker room.

Jones finished with 25 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

“We talked about him today,” said Scott. “Historically we’ve always stopped great running backs. But running quarterbacks are a problem. They’re a problem in college and in the NFL. He was the first kid that I shook his hand and I told him he was a hell of player. We knew he was going to get some yards. We would like to have contained him, but no one else has, either.”

Shane Richardson’s defense allowed just three first downs in the opening half, a testament to discipline given the Bulldogs’ rope-a-dope style of play.

“I know what Coach Richardson’s expectations are,” said Scott. “We wanted a shut out. But the game gets out of hand and we need to be able to put the nail in the coffin on defense. But Shane does a great job and they had a great plan. They were well coached. You win the game whether its by 20 or by 1, and I’ll take the win.”

On its opening possession of the third quarter, Sequoyah took advantage of a short field, allowing Woodruff and Smith to carry the load with seven consecutive carries, before Smith capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Cully added the PAT and Sequoyah led 34-6.

Woodruff finished with 107 yards and a pair of scores on just nine carries.

Scott finished 11-of-21 for 133 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Helsley hauled in five of those completions for 114 yards and all three scores.

“Ryan and Niko [Hammer] are two of the best receivers to play here,” said Scott. “They had a kid named Wally Horsechief that was pretty special here, but those two guys are pretty special, too. I told him before the game, ‘You’ve got to make big plays,’ and then you watch the game and that’s what he does. He does a great job getting open and hejust catches the ball. He’s a great athlete.”

With the victory, the Indians (7-1) clinch a berth in the Class 3A playoffs. Next week, Sequoyah travels to Muskogee for the de facto Class 3A-7 district championship versus the Hilldale Hornets (7-1).

“I’m thinking about Hilldale and I’m sure they’re thinking about us,” said Scott. “It’s good to play in a championship game. Our kids haven’t played in a championship game, so its going to be special over there. They have a great program. It’s a tough place to get a win, but its championship football and its going to be fun.”

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