Mavs make a statement, hold Cherokee offense in check
Anderson County hosted South Doyle on Friday, Sept. 13 for a non-region game, and finished the night with a victory, coming away on the winning side of the final score, 31-22.
The stands were packed to bursting, with large student sections from both schools and hundreds of parents in attendance. Anderson County took a strong, early lead, scoring two touchdowns in the second half of the first quarter. The first came from a 13-yard run from T.J. Holmes, and the second came from a 28-yard pass by Stone Hatmaker to Stone Cummings.
South Doyle did start to mount a comeback, with an impressive drive down the field in the second quarter to score, but they couldn’t make a sustained push and Anderson County slipped further ahead.
A 32-yard pass from Hatmaker to Brandon Seidner put the score at 21-7 going into the fourth quarter, where things got heated.
Anderson County’s Daniel Bethel kicked a 40-yard field goal minutes into the quarter, then the Cherokees scored a touchdown with seven minutes left.
The Mavs scored again on a run from Stone Hatmaker. Finally, with a minute left on the clock, the Cherokees showed the spirit that’s had them undefeated so far this season, driving almost all the way down the field in a single play and scoring one play later.
Anderson County’s total offensive yards for the night totaled 317 over 53 plays to South Doyle’s 288 across 51. Penalties severely hurt the Cherokees, as they lost 68 yards on nine penalties, to Anderson County’s 35 yards lost on four.
The Mavs held the ball for only 12 seconds longer than the Cherokees, a large portion of that came in the fourth quarter, where the Mavs successfully held the ball for nine minutes to run down the clock.
Also of note was Tanner Goins’s sack of Cherokee quarterback and Nick Reed’s interception that stopped the momentum of the Cherokee’s push down the field when they were starting to get into their stride.
Anderson County pulled a penalty from Reed’s interception due to the rush of players onto the field from the sidelines as the Mavs all rushed to congratulate Reed. Still – worth it.
Daniel Bethel had another great night, averaging 60 yards per kickoff and 46.5 yards per punt versus South Doyle’s 49.5 per kickoff and 26.5 per punt.
Coach Gillum didn’t think the game could have gone much better.
“The boys played hard. We made some mistakes, but they were kept to a minimum. Offensively, our O-line dominated, and defensively, the boys played almost flawlessly. We fixed some of our problems from earlier in the season, and I’m just really pleased with the whole game.”
Gillum also wanted to thank all the fans that came out to support the team.
“I think there’s a lot of things going into Friday nights, from the facilities to the fireworks to the announcers, and it all makes this a special place to play, but the biggest thing is the community coming out and supporting us like they do. Everyone loves to play here and it’s a great place to be playing high school football in.”
Anderson County travels to Chattanooga Howard Tech this Friday, Sept. 20.