*PHOTO: Eileen Carter/Making Memories Photography*
DUNLAP, Tenn.–If you asked any Indian player before the season what their goals were, it would be to win a State Title.
For most fans and critics, the chatter was merely preseason jargon, but for the Indians, they believed it full heartedly. And that was evident Friday night as many players were extremely emotional after their 24-0 defeat at the hands of perennial power Alcoa.
“I mean, it was a heck of a season,” Senior linebacker Kyle Cates said. “We just really didn’t want it to end here. We came in with the mindset that we could beat them if we gave it all we had.”
As always the officiating was in question. Many fans were almost hostile with their views of the referees Friday night, but the gridiron judges can’t completely affect the outcome.
“We had some pretty bad calls on the referees’ part,” Cates said. “You can’t blame it on the referees, though, it’s not always their fault. We made mistakes. We hit the wrong gaps. It’s our fault they scored 24 points, and it’s our fault that we didn’t score any. You can’t blame it on the referees.”
Scenes From This Seasons’ Semifinal Run
In fact, Alcoa’s rushing yardage easily eclipsed the referee debacle, posting 168 yards on the ground before halftime. The Indians totalled 116 yards at the end of the game. Both quarterbacks packed nearly identical statistics with 37 and 38 yards respectively. Alcoa also held Mr. Football Finalist Hunter Davenport, who led the team in rushing, to 46 yards
Alcoa started out with an early touchdown via a 54-yard rush by the Tornadoes’ Tykee Kellogg. From there, the Indians defense held pretty strong, holding the Tornadoes to a field goal through most of the second quarter. It was then that quarterback Jaylen Myers took over the show, putting Alcoa up by 17 with a 3-yard rush with less the four minutes left in the second quarter.
Myers also capped off the night in scoring with a 10-yard burst for the end zone with 6:52 left in the 3rd Quarter. The Indians may have failed to put a point on the board, but the Tornadoes were held to their lowest scoring total of the season outside of Elizabethton game in the quarterfinals. Still, some Indians were truly devastated by the loss while others are ready to shake it off.
“It happens,” Cates said. “We had a great season. I’m just really proud of my team.”
The Indians fall to 13-1 in their de facto season finale, beating a school record for most number of wins. The times have changed tremendously since the 12-1 run, including an extra round and more dominant teams in the mix such as Alcoa.
Ending the season ranked No.2, it was only fitting that they fell to No. 1 in a make-shift State Title game. Alcoa, though, still has another test next week in Liberty, who won their game against CPA, 33-20.
AHS — 10 | 7 | 7 | 0 || 24
SCHS — 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 || 0
1st (9:52) — Tykee Kellogg, 54-Yard Rush (Smith Kick Good)
Alcoa 7, Sequatchie County 0
1st (6:18) — Ben Smith Kick Good
Alcoa 10, Sequatchie County 0
2nd (3:30) — Jaylen Myers, 3-Yard Rush (Smith Kick Good)
Alcoa 17, Sequatchie County 0
3rd (6:52) — Jaylen Myers, 10-Yard Rush (Smith Kick Good)
Alcoa 24, Sequatchie County 0