CANTON — Sequoyah closed out its season in a big way with a 52-13 victory over Centennial in a Region 7AAAAAA game Saturday at Skip Pope Stadium.
The Chiefs (4-6, 4-3) had already been eliminated from state playoff contention going into the game. Nevertheless, it was a strong finish to a season where Sequoyah started 0-5 before winning four of its last five contests.
“That’s what we talked about before the game. The fact that they started 0-5 and finished the season 4-1 showed a lot about their character and showed a lot about them,” Sequoyah coach James Teter said.
Sequoyah dominated from start to finish, scoring on its first seven possessions of the game.
“I thought they played really well,” Teter said. “We talked a lot about playing for each other and, the second half of the season, we’ve seen the kids play a lot more for each other. We were a little depressed at the beginning, because we had a chance to go to the state playoffs depending on how the game went (Friday), but it didn’t work out in our favor, so we had a long talk about that. I thought they responded and played really well.”
It marked the second year in a row that Sequoyah was unable to qualify for the state playoffs after reaching the state quarterfinals in 2018.
Centennial (0-8, 0-6) turned the ball over on the first offensive series of the game when Sequoyah’s Harrison Hood intercepted a Tyler Laskaris pass deep in Knight territory and took the ball to the 3-yard line.
It took Sequoyah only one play to score as Jaden Mitchell ran the ball in from 3 yards out to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead with 10:47 remaining in the first quarter.
Sequoyah scored again on its next series when Matthew Trayner threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Baylor Borden with 6:33 left in the first quarter to make it 14-0.
The Chiefs added to their lead on their third possession when Mitchell scored on a 16-yard run for a 21-0 advantage with 2:54 left to go in the first quarter, then scored again on their next series as Peyton Lucas entered the end zone on a 4-yard run at the 11:55 mark of the second quarter to make it 28-0.
Another possession resulted in another touchdown for Sequoyah as Lucas broke loose for a 78-yard scoring run with 8:16 remaining in the first half to increase the Chiefs’ lead to 35-0.
Centennial finally got on the scoreboard on the next series as Laskaris threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tennessee commit Julian Dixon with 5:51 left in the first half to cut Sequoyah’s lead to 35-7.
However, the Chiefs would go on to score the last 10 points of the first half, the first on Steven Zurita’s 55-yard field goal on their next series with 3:18 remaining. Then, after recovering a Centennial fumble, Sequoyah scored on a 13-yard run by Aidan Moore at the 2:01 mark.
Both teams would score once more in the second half — Centennial on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jett Miller to Nixon with 10:51 remaining in the third quarter, and Sequoyah on a 12-yard scoring run by Mitchell with 9:45 left in the game.