Monday night football will be making an appearance in Cherokee County.
Cambridge will travel to Sequoyah for a 7 p.m. kickoff Monday, in a game originally scheduled for Friday. The move had to be made after the Cambridge campus was closed to students for three days due to a growth in coronavirus cases.
The game will feature two teams fighting to remain in the playoff picture in Region 7AAAAAA. Sequoyah (0-5, 0-2) is coming off a 24-0 home defeat against Creekview, while Cambridge (2-3, 1-1) is coming off a 37-0 win at Centennial.
The Chiefs were bitten by self-inflicted mistakes last Friday, and they will need to play a cleaner game if they hope to win their first game of the season. Turnovers led to short fields for Creekview, and Sequoyah was unable to come from behind against the Grizzlies’ defense.
Sequoyah fumbled three times, losing all three, and accrued eight penalties for 54 yards.
“You can’t make mistakes like we did early,” coach James Teter said. “Defensively, we thought (Creekview was) going to be pretty good, and we just couldn’t afford to make that many mistakes and be able to come back from it.”
Running back Jaden Mitchell finished with a game-high 81 yards last Friday and has been the Chiefs’ most consistent offensive weapon this fall. Mitchell remains the team’s leading rusher and receiver, and his 422 rushing yards ranks fourth in Cherokee County.
Continuing to develop the passing game with sophomore quarterback Matthew Traynor will be a key for the remainder of the season.
“Each week, we feel like Matthew is getting better,” Teter said. “He’s really starting to understand and grasp the concepts. From Day 1 of practice to now, he’s really improved.”
Cambridge running back Phillip-Michael Collins scored three touchdowns in the Bears’ victory last week and is the focal point of an offense averaging 20 points per game. Slowing down Collins will be a tough task, but Sequoyah will also need to be mindful of the Bears’ passing game as well.
Quarterback Zach Harris, a Division I baseball prospect, has the ability to hurt defenses on the football field as well, while receiver Hayden Gardella is Harris’ primary target.
Teter said Sequoyah would use Sunday for film study and treat Monday as it would a normal football Friday. With five region games remaining, every week becomes more important for teams looking to make a playoff push.
“I thought we played better in the second half last week, but our offense is still struggling,” Teter said. “The biggest issue right now is we’re not throwing the ball well. That’s something that we’ll have to improve moving forward.”