Game: Cass (2-0) at Sequoyah (0-2)
Previous meeting: Sequoyah 24, Cass 3 (Oct. 9, 2015)
All-time series: Sequoyah leads 8-0
Prediction: Sequoyah 38, Cass 24
Coming off back-to-back losses to start the season, Sequoyah will hope to put the pieces together this Friday at home against a team which has never defeated the Chiefs.
Sequoyah (0-2) will host Cass (2-0) on Friday for the first time in five seasons. Although Sequoyah holds a perfect record against Cass in the all-time series, the Cheifs will likely face a team brimming with confidence after starting 2-0 for the first time since 2006. Steve Gates is in his first season coaching the Colonels, who defeated Dawson County and Adairsville by an average score of 25-12 to begin their season.
“This isn’t their normal Cass team,” Sequoyah coach James Teter said. “They are very athletic all over the field on both sides of the ball. They’ve got a new coach and the kids are going to play hard for him. I think they’ll come in all fired up and I think we’ll find out what kind of a team we are.”
Despite the rough start to the season, Sequoyah has shown flashes of brilliance in all three phases. Offensively, it is averaging a touchdown better than last year’s pace (28 points per game this season) and sophomore quarterback Matthew Traynor has looked more than capable behind center. Traynor is completing 54 percent of his passes and averaging 126 passing yards per game. His three passing touchdowns should also bode well for a running attack which has featured the trio of Jaden Mitchell, Aidan Moore and Jack Piskorz.
Mitchell is averaging a team-high 80 rushing yards per game and is also the team’s leading receiver with nine receptions for 93 yards and one score. Moore is averaging a team-high 9.1 yards per carry while Piskorz has proven himself as runner and receiver, averaging 72 total yards per game.
Defensively, Sequoyah will want to improve after allowing 82 points through its first two contests. The Chiefs defensive front — Kemar Plummer, Avery Born, Harrison Hood and Seth Fitzpatrick — has played well to start the season and held Cherokee’s running game in check until a late score last week. Senior safety Jack Blackman was also a bright spot last week when he undercut Cherokee quarterback A.J. Swann’s pass to make a diving interception in the first half.
Sequoyah has been outscored by its opponents 21-0 in the third quarter to start the season, and coming out of the halftime locker rooms ready to adjust will be key moving forward.
“We just gotta finish,” Teter said. “We played very well in the first half we just made some mistakes in the second half. We missed some opportunities there early but to score touchdowns and if we convert those it’s a different game.”
Several teams in the area have displayed kicking talent to start the season and these two teams no exception. Senior Steven Zurita has been impressive, hitting 49 and 43-yard field goals last week and putting nearly every kickoff into the end zone. Cass has an excellent kicker of its own in senior Kaleb Speights, who also made his two field goal attempts last week.