Two wins in six days have brought Sequoyah fully back into the playoff picture.
This week, however, the Chiefs will square off with the county’s lone undefeated team.
Sequoyah (2-5, 2-2) will travel to River Ridge (7-0, 4-0) on Friday for a Region 7AAAAAA matchup with playoff and region championship implications. A third straight win for the Chiefs would put them in prime playoff position with two weeks remaining, while a win for River Ridge would likely set up a de facto region championship game next week with Johns Creek.
Sequoyah is coming off wins against Cambridge (44-41) and Chattahoochee (23-14). The Chiefs have rallied following a shutout loss to Creekview, and it has been running Jaden Mitchell leading the way. Mitchell scored four touchdowns against Cambridge and finished with 141 yards and two scores against Chattahoochee.
Defensively, defensive back Jackson Hancock had one of the best games all season for a freshman in Cherokee County. He finished with a team-high 11 tackles with two tackles for loss against Chattahoochee.
Avery Born and Kemar Plummer each recorded sacks against Chattahoochee and will need to perform well again this week against the dynamic River Ridge offense.
“We’ve got to find a way to stop their running back, but their defense is really good, too,” Sequoyah coach James Teter said. “We’ve watched them the last couple weeks, and they’re just having one of those years where, the more you win, the more confident you get.”
River Ridge is coming off a 31-7 home win over Centennial and, this week, entered the top 10 of the Class AAAAAA rankings for the first time.
Amehre Morrison continued his historic season, finishing with 195 yards and one touchdown, which kept him atop the state rushing leaders list with 1,356 yards. Quarterback Carson Lathem continues to develop chemistry with his receivers and finished last week with touchdown passes to Andrew Bingham and Micah Martineau.
Along with Riley Caines and Jackson Head, the rhythm Bingham and Martineau have with Lathem continues to progress week to week.
“Comfort is probably the word,” River Ridge coach Mike Collins said. “I think they’re becoming more comfortable with each other and within the system. I was really optimistic going into the season, and I really thought Carson would have a good year. I still don’t think he or our receiving corps has hit their ceiling.”
River Ridge held Centennial scoreless in the second half, and as good as the Knights’ offense has been this season, their defense has been equally impressive. After allowing a season-high 35 points to Chattahoochee the first week of October, the Knights have allowed 13 points per game over their last three contests.
Safety Scotty Rutherford is third in Cherokee County with 72 tackles and also leads the county in points scored by a kicker with 41.
“We try to take advantage of all his talents,” Collins said. “He’s all about River Ridge through and through. I just hope we can keep it rolling for guys like him and all the seniors.”