Game: Sequoyah (0-3) at Johns Creek (0-2)
Last meeting: Johns Creek 34, Sequoyah 0 (Sept. 2, 2011)
All-time series: Johns Creek leads 2-0
Prediction: Johns Creek 27, Sequoyah 20
Two teams in search of their first win will square off this week in the newly realigned Region 7AAAAAA.
Sequoyah (0-3) will travel to Johns Creek (0-2) Friday following an early-season bye. The Chiefs fell at home 15-10 to Cass in their last game and spent their off week continuing to improve on the basics.
“We spent it like we always do, but we did it more from a standpoint of trying to improve on what we’re good at rather than focusing on our opponent,” Sequoyah coach James Teter said. “(Johns Creek) is very good and reminds us a lot of Cherokee. Big and physical with a lot of speed at their skill positions.”
Sequoyah has flashed potential to start the season. The 35 points scored against Woodstock and the 20 scored against Cherokee were both the most either has allowed so far this season. Even following a bye week, senior running back Jaden Mitchell remains fourth in Cherokee County in rushing yards with 297 (6.5 average) and three touchdowns. Mitchell remains the team’s leading receiver as well — nine receptions for 93 yards — with juniors Jack Piskorz and Aidan Moore remaining key weapons in the passing game.
Sophomore quarterback Matthew Traynor has played well behind center for the Cheifs — 19-for-35 passing for 251 yards with three touchdowns — but junior Connor Gelatt also saw action at quarterback against Cass, finishinging 6-for-8 for 38 yards. Traynor also serves as one of Sequoyah’s best defensive backs and led the Cheifs in tackles against Cass.
“We have two young guys and we’re going to use them both,” Teter said. “They have different skillsets and we’ll play whichever has the better week of practice. Matthew (Traynor) is also one of our best safeties and we try as much as we can not to play guys both ways if we don’t have to.”
Sequoyah has improved its rush defense in each subsequent week, allowing 85 (3.1 average) to Cass. Senior outside linebacker Jonah Haney leads the Chiefs in tackles with 19 while fellow seniors Joseph Silva and Jack Blackman both have 18.
Johns Creek is coming off back-to-back losses to Milton and Westlake, two of the better teams in the state. The Gladiators are 19-4 over the last two seasons and have plenty of talent to make a run toward a third-consecutive playoff appearance.
Defensively, Sequoyah will need to account for Johns Creek senior defensive end Cole Nelson, a Virginia Tech commit. In the secondary, junior safety Terrian Williams II holds more than 30 college offers including LSU, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina. A ball-hawk in pass coverage, Williams is also explosive in the return game as well.
Senior safety John Stegenga was the Gladiators’ defensive MVP a season ago while junior offensive tackle Tyler Gibson (6-foot-5, 285 pounds) holds offers from LSU, Mississippi State, Oregon, and Georgia Tech among 13 FBS offers.