Jerry Denham | Denham Photography
Sequoyah wide receiver Matt Gletty (17) appears to keep a foot inbounds as he catches a ball from quarterback Brett King in the end zone at the end of the first half Friday against Polk County at Sequoyah High School. The catch was ruled out of bounds, denying the Chiefs a touchdown.
|Published: 12:09 PM, 10/11/2013
||Last updated: 12:10 PM, 10/11/2013
Author: Gabriel Garcia
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
MADISONVILLE - The Sequoyah Chiefs dared somebody else from Polk County besides Zach Miller to beat them.
Quarterback Josh Sillas - all 5-foot-10, 145 pounds of him - obliged.
Sillas' deep ball to a wide-open Devin Weber for a 62-yard touchdown broke a tie with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held against the Chiefs' attempts to answer and handed them a 21-14 loss in the District 5-AA heavyweight clash Friday at Sequoyah High School.
"We just weren’t disciplined enough to hold our pursuit angles, and we were selling out to the run," said Sequoyah coach Bill Satterfield. "It was a good call."
The Chiefs (4-2, 2-1 District 5-AA), who were still left wanting for a win over Polk since the two started playing regularly in 2005, made it a point of emphasis to not let Miller run all over them this time.
And, aside from a 17-play drive that consumed nearly nine minutes in the first quarter and gave the Wildcats the first seven points, Sequoyah was largely successful in slowing down the 6-foot-1, 235-pound star fullback, limiting him to 126 yards on 32 carries - good for a 3.9 yards-per-carry average.
"This is the best Sequoyah team we've ever faced since I’ve been the coach," said Polk coach Derrick Davis.
Polk (5-1, 2-0) had beaten Sequoyah by at least 26 points in every contest they’ve played since the inception of District 5-AA in 2009, including the 47-21 humiliation last year.
But this time the Chiefs refused to let the game get away from them, even after a controversial ending to the first half.
Matt Gletty appeared to have planted a foot inbounds on a catch in the end zone as the half expired that would’ve closed Sequoyah to a 14-12 deficit before any extra points. However, the official on the other side of the field on the play ran in and ruled that Gletty fell out of bounds on his back, and the halftime deficit remained 14-6.
"I don't know how many of these we’re going to get," Satterfield said about the call. "We go down to Walker Valley, and we’re laying halfway across the goal line in the end zone, and the official takes that one away from us. We got our feet down in the end zone with the ball tucked in under the chin and the official, which isn’t even his call to make, is out of position comes running down and says it’s not a touchdown."
In addition, the Chiefs committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and gave the Wildcats a short field to start the second half. However, Sequoyah forced the three-and-out coming back from the lockers, then drove to as deep as the Polk 28 before turning the ball over on downs.
"Our kids played tough through that, and it gave them something to come out of the second half with," Satterfield said.
Polk County went three-and-out again, and Sequoyah again moved the ball steadily down to the Polk 3. But then fullback Caleb Miner got stripped of the ball, and the Wildcats recovered.
"The bad, bad, bad, bad, bad call at halftime, and then the fumble down here," Satterfield said. "If we get that touchdown and we don’t fumble that right there when we’re about to cross the goal line, then it’s a moot point. We beat them."
Again Sequoyah's defense punched the backed-up Wildcats off the field in three plays, and this time facing a short field, quarterback Brett King capped the 5-play, 35-yard drive with a 20-yard keeper up the middle to pull to within 14-12 on the first play of the fourth quarter. King then found Rueben Abernathy in the corner of the end zone to knot it at 14-14.
Polk had one more possession of offensive futility, and the Chiefs, riding momentum, again drove as deep as the Wildcat 27 on the strength of an Abernathy 24-yard reception, but the Polk defense sacked King on fourth down.
And on the next possession is when Polk had Sillas do something he only did four other times before in the game: Pass.
"We felt the momentum was switching to Sequoyah, and they were playing the run really tough," Davis said about his team's winning play. “It was the right call at the right time."
And with the lead, the momentum went back to Polk. Senior linebacker Tanner Plemons swooped in front of King’s screen pass and picked it, with 4:54 left, giving his Wildcats the opportunity to chew up all but 45 seconds of the remaining game clock.
King threw four straight incompletions to end the Chiefs' chances at the win. He finished 8-for-22 passing for 150 yards. Drops by receivers plagued King’s numbers. Garrett Dalton had four drops to go with his six catches for 66 yards, and Gletty dropped the ball eight times in a five-catch, 17-yard performance.
Drew Carson kept Sequoyah's drives moving when they could with his 107 yards running on 14 carries.
Sequoyah only has one District 5-AA contest left, and that is the regular season finale at Sweetwater. The Chiefs have three out-of-district games before that Nov. 1 game against their Monroe County rivals, starting by hosting Class 5A White County next week.
The Chiefs still have playoff positioning to play for, with a No. 2 seed and the possibility of hosting the first two rounds of the TSSAA playoffs still a goal.
"We don’t have any reason to hang our heads over this," Satterfield said. "It was a hard-fought ball game. We gave ourselves an opportunity to win."
TIT FOR TAT: Sequoyah scheduled its Homecoming this year against Polk County as a response to the Wildcats doing the same to the Chiefs last season.
POLK COUNTY 21, SEQUOYAH 14
PC 7 7 0 7 - 21
SQ 0 6 0 8 - 14
PC 7.0s - Zach Miller 1 run (Reno Wimberley kick)
17 plays, 96 yards, 8:46, 0-7
SQ 10:00 - Brett King 20 run (King kick no good)
5 plays, 55 yards, 2:00, 6-7
PC 59.0s - Blake Cross 7 pass from Josh Sillas (Wimberley kick)
10 plays, 70 yards, 4:30, 6-14
SQ 11:53 - King 20 run (Rueben Abernathy pass from King)
5 plays, 35 yards, 1:45, 14-14
PC 7:14 - Devin Weber 62 pass from Sillas (Wimberley kick)
2 plays, 65 yards, 0:52, 14-21
First downs 15 16
Rushes-Yds 45-198 28-190
Passing Yds 91 150
Cmp-Att-Int 3-5-0 8-22-1
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