Author: John Brice Source: The Maryville Daily Times
On this night, Greenback's third offensive possession was a
It took the high-scoring Cherokees all of six plays to dent the end zone.
It merely marked their third touchdown among their first nine offensive snaps. And it was all part
of a dominating tour de force that ensured the second-ranked Cherokees would remain unblemished for
next week's massive rivalry tilt against Grace Christian Academy.
The undefeated and
state-ranked Cherokees (6-0) scored less than four minutes into the game and rarely stopped scoring
in what evolved into a 41-6 win.
"There wasn't much that went wrong for us in that first
half," said Greenback coach Justin Ridge, who has guided his team to consecutive 6-0 starts. "Even
when we gave them good field position on that kickoff return, we still were able to just go ahead
and stop them and get the ball back and score again.
"It's hard to say that, but I can't
remember anytime putting up 41 points (in a half) against a team that was 3-1 coming in here. And
they're a pretty strong 1A football team. So that's a pretty strong statement. I still believe it
might be one of the best (halves) I've seen because of how we were able to move the ball in chunks
and play pretty good defense."
Quarterback Eric Anderson, lethal running and passing on the
evening, polished off the Cherokees' opening possession with a 39-yard strike to Brock Moore.
The first of Masey Fox's five PATs was true, and the romp quickly was on.
quickly went three-and-out, and Greenback went back to work in even more impressive fashion. Richard
Seymour took the handoff, darted through the line and never was a threat to be caught on a 40-yard
"We played an absolute great game," said Greenback signal-caller Anderson. "I was
happy on defense and offense. We executed perfectly. I really feel like we're playing our best
football of the whole season."
Greenback got almost methodical on its third possession; it
took all of six plays to score. This time quarterback Anderson cleaned up the 43-yard drive with a
1-yard plunge into paydirt before a standing-room-only crowd at Cooper Field.
It was much
more of the same throughout the second quarter, with Greenback scoring so much that the second half
opened under the TSSAA-mandated running clock. Seymour had an 11-yard run on the opening possession
of the second quarter. After a squib kick recovered by Moore on the ensuing kickoff, Greenback was
in the end zone again five plays later when Jordan Anderson started left, had a nifty cut-back right
and powered in for six from 12 yards out.
The Cherokees assured the running clock when Justin
Edwards darted and weaved through the Cloudland defense from 28 yards out to cap the first-half
While the offense lit up the scoreboard, Greenback's defense was flat-out
suffocating. Led by Landon Disney and a host of other Cherokees defenders, they stymied the
Cloudland offense that mustered a scant three first downs across the opening 24 minutes.
defense has been phenomenal all year," Disney said. "We're shutting everybody out pretty much until
the coaches take us out for safety purposes. And our starting offense is dominating. All year they
"We have three-and-out and then score in one or two plays. We know it's going to happen
and we do it."
Said Ridge of the defense, "They're playing really well. They're a close unit,
and we've got a lot of talent on that side of the ball but also they work really hard."
will be a markedly different test in a week for Greenback, which faces rival and similarly
state-ranked Grace Christian Academy on the Rams' dazzling new turf field.
"Next week is a
big game; we're all excited about it and we've been looking forward to it all year," Disney said.
"Hopefully we'll come out and perform.
"To tell you the truth, we've talked about it since
that game last year (won at Greenback by Grace). We're pretty prepared. Last year that was one heck
of a football team. Hopefully this year will have a different outcome."
"Grace, I'm not going to lie, Grace is number one on our schedule that we look at. We take it a day
at a time but Grace is definitely a team that we know is going to be a good game and going to be