Lions fall out of playoff picture after loss to CCHS

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By Bradley Roberts/For Sand Mountain Reporter

Sardis fell to the Cherokee County, 39-6, in a Class 4A, Region 6 matchup on Friday (Oct. 16) in Centre.

The Warriors (5-3, 4-2) clinched the region’s fourth and final playoff seed. The Lions fell to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the region.

Cherokee County scored 25 unanswered points in the first half and completely shut down the Sardis punt, forcing the Lions to punt on four of their first five possessions and causing a fumble on the other.

After Sardis’ three-and-out started the game, the Warriors took over at their own 24-yard line. They marched down the field on eight plays and found the end zone on a 15-yard rush by sophomore quarterback Tyren Dupree. The extra point by kicker James Sewell made the score 7-0 with just over seven minutes left in the opening quarter.

A punt following another Lion three-and-out was taken 65 yards by junior receiver Thomas Graves all the way to the house. The missed point-after made the score 13-0 with 5:44 remaining in the first.

The two teams then exchanged fumbles. Sardis jumped on the ball at the 3:38 mark in the first and drove down to the Warrior 15, setting them up with their best field position of the half. However, a muffed handoff three plays later to senior Austin Hallmark gave the ball back to the home team.

CCHS marched down the field on 14 plays, and Dupree’s 10-yard pass to receiver Quartez Powell-Henderson made the score 19-0 at the 7:10 mark in the second quarter, which is where it would stay when the point-after was blocked by Hallmark.

Sardis handed the ball back over to the Warriors quickly on downs, and then Dupree found Powell-Henderson again on a 53-yard touchdown pass with 2:32 left before the half. The two-point conversion was no good, and despite recovering an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors kept the 25-0 lead heading into intermission.

Cherokee County took the kick to open the second half and found the end zone on the third play from scrimmage. Junior running back Thomas Graves took three handoffs 56 yards and capped the drive with a 35-yard TD. Sewell’s extra point made the score 32-0 at the 10:35 mark in the third quarter.

On the next possession, Sardis sophomore quarterback Logan Gaskin threw his first of two picks on the night. The pass was intercepted by Powell-Henderson, who took the ball 49 yards for the pick-six. Following Sewell’s PAT, the Warriors took a 39-0 lead with 8:51 left in the third quarter.

Gaskin found Hallmark on the next possession for his team’s only touchdown of the night. Hallmark took the ball 68 yards to the end zone. Gaskin tried to sneak up the middle for the two-pointer but failed.

Sardis hosts Crossville on Friday in its final region game.

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