Author: Gabe Garcia Source: The Maryville Daily Times
It was obvious a few minutes into their second District 3-A game of the season that the Greenback Cherokees were too much for the Midway Green Waves.
However, the coaching staff is certain to see a few things it won't like on the game film from Greenback's 49-0 win Friday.
"We talked all week about getting rid of some of the mental errors, such as the false starts, and we definitely have stuff to work on," said Greenback offensive coordinator Jason Hicks.
One such false start near the end of the first quarter cost the Greenback (5-0, 2-0 District 3-A) a 51-yard catch-and-run by Richard Seymour that would've put the Green Waves (1-3, 0-1) away earlier. Another false start complicated a drive near the end of the first half in which the Cherokees were already going backward, courtesy of a busted lateral pass play.
Before Greenback's last drive of the first half, which started with 58 seconds left, the Green Waves - who fielded only 26 players to Greenback's 44, had chewed up nearly seven minutes of the second quarter, keeping the Cherokees' offense off the field.
"It's hard to really get focused in a game where they're eating the clock up like that and you have limited opportunities, and you're not stressing over getting chunks of yardage," said head coach Justin Ridge, whose Cherokees came into Friday ranked No. 3 in Class 1A. "You kind of get greedy and want to go up and get touchdowns so you can get up big and melt it away.
"We got behind the chains right before halftime trying to get some desperation stuff and get another score on the board before halftime and we didn't execute."
Midway missed a chance to get on the scoreboard by literally inches when quarterback Mason Woody just overthrew a streaking Zack Qualls with around two minutes left in the half. The Waves' ball-control drive eventually stalled, and Greenback stopped the fake punt attempt to give them the ill-fated chance to score more points before the half.
"Every now and then they're going to move the chains, but if you hang in there long enough, they're going to get an at-the-line play or negative play," Ridge said.
One thing that was little at fault Friday was the Greenback running game, paced by Richard Seymour's 167 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries. The senior standout's second score of the evening, a punishing 33-yard burst up the center of the field, put Greenback up 21-0 with 7:20 left in the first half, topped off with a high step to discourage Midway's last tackler.
Seymour ran another score in on a sweep from 50 yards out early in the third quarter. Less than 20 seconds later, on the first play after recovering a Midway fumble, the Cherokees' running back crept left than burst up the field for another six points from 25 yards out.
When Greenback's reserves got their turn in the fourth quarter, Justin Edwards got in on the fun, scoring first on an all-out sprint of 78, then later in the quarter on a 59 yard run in which he went right, then reversed field and outran the Midway defense, capping off the Cherokees' total of 347 yards on the ground.
But Anderson also got sacked during that drive near the end of the first quarter, losing 8 yards after that false start wiped out what would've been his second touchdown toss to Seymour. That drive stalled after Seymour tripped on a cut on fourth down, marking the first drive of the game Greenback failed to score.
The Cherokees will return home to host non-district Cloudland Sept. 21.