The 2012 Battle for the
Ridge/Thunder in the Valley provided tons of excitement for fans of Monroe County football. In
2011, the Sequoyah High School Chiefs were on the winning side of a 14-6 win. This time, however,
the Sweetwater High School Wildcats used the formula Sequoyah did in that game: a dominant running
game, and a stellar defense.
In 2012, Eli Arwood played the
role of Forrest McKane in 2011. Arwood pounded his way through the Sequoyah defense to the tune of
25 rushes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
That was enough to
top Sequoyah and claim The Advocate & Democrat Monroe County Cup for the first time since
2008, and grab second place in 5AA to guarantee a playoff spot.
With the loss Sequoyah will now wait on the TSSAA to decide their fate as a wild card team.
The game started off slowly for the Chiefs' offense. A quick
three-and-out followed by a 71-yard scoring drive by the Wildcats, took the air out of Sequoyah's
The Sweetwater defense came into the game only
allowing just over 13 points a game and they dominated early and often. The Chiefs had three
three-and-outs in the first quarter alone.
The really big
plays for the Chiefs came in the second quarter as Garret Dalton pulled in a 37-yard grab, and
Blake Huffman hauled in a 42-yard catch as he dove to pull it in. Other than that, this game was
void of big gains, but not big plays.
Jarren Turpeinen and
Arwood both had sacks that slowed the Chiefs' offense. It wasn't until late in the third when the
Chiefs were able to put a drive together.
Austin Lunsford and
Dalton both brought down slant patterns for first downs that culminated in a Huffman score from
the one. After a missed extra point the game stood 14-6 going into the fourth.
The Wildcats just could not be stopped though. Jordan McGaughey provided
a good change of pace from Arwood and kept the Chiefs on their toes.
When Sequoyah was able to slow down the Wildcats, it was Dustin Webb,
Huffman and Caleb Minor who made the stops. Minor had a sack and numerous tackles behind the line,
as did Drew Carson who played well at defensive tackle. Thomas Spradlin and Brian Tilley had nice
plays in the middle with help from Casey Coon. After every stop though, Arwood would keep on
chugging and that was the difference in the game.
was 12 of 21 for 164 yards and an interception, with a bulk of his passes going over the middle to
Reuben Abernathy. Unfortunately, that turnover came late in the game at the Wildcat two-yard line.
Nick Wicker had six catches for 58 yards and arguably the
biggest play in the game. Wicker caught the King pass to seal the deal for the 'Cats.
Sweetwater (7-3, 2-2) will more than likely host a playoff game next
week, and Sequoyah (6-4, 2-2) could still host, but will likely travel.
In another heated match, the County Cup returns over the ridge, and
Sweetwater has Mr. Arwood to thank.