By Scott McKie B.P.
One Feather staff
BRYSON CITY – Cherokee’s William Carmichael electrified the crowd with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter of Friday’s rivalry game between Swain and Cherokee. But, that would be it for the highlight reel for Cherokee as Swain defeated them 49-6 on the chilly night in Bryson. Both teams were feeling each other out early in the game. Swain got the ball first and punted followed a three and out. Cherokee followed suit on their first possession.
Swain got the ball back at the Cherokee 39 yard line following the Braves’ punt. On second down, Braves DB Storm Sequoyah intercepted a pass and returned it to the Cherokee 46 yard line.
But, the Braves were unable to move the ball and Swain took over at their own 45 following a Cherokee punt. The Maroon Devils put together a 10 play drive which culminated in a two-yard touchdown by Ryan McMahan. Evan Sneed, an EBCI tribal member, kicked the extra point and Swain led 7-0 with 1:59 left in the first quarter.
Cherokee took over at their own 9 yard line following a holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff. They were able to put together an 11 play drive that eventually stalled, and they turned it over on downs at the Swain 32 yard line.
On the first play, Swain RB Corey Green darted 68 yards for what seemed like another Maroon Devil touchdown, but a holding penalty would bring it all the way back. They were able to drive inside the Cherokee red zone, but turned it over on downs following an incomplete pass on 4th and 13 from the Braves 18 yard line.
Cherokee gained one yard on first down, and on second down fumbled the ball which was recovered by Swain at the Cherokee 16 yard line. Two plays later, Swain was back in the endzone as Colby Hyatt caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from McMahan. Sneed added the extra point and Swain extended its lead to 14-0.
Braves return specialist William Carmichael would get the Braves right back into the game as he took the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to the house. Sequoyah’s point after kick was good, but was nullified by an illegal procedure penalty. On the second try, the kick was blocked so Cherokee trailed 14-6 with four minutes left in the half.
Swain and Cherokee would both punt on their next two possessions, and the half would end with the Maroon Devils throwing three incomplete passes just inside Cherokee territory.
Cherokee started the second half from their own 15 yard line, and had to punt following a three and out. Swain returned the punt to the Braves 9 yard line.
Three plays later, Swain would get into the end zone for their first score of the half on a quarterback sneak by McMahan from inside the one yard line. Green added the two-point conversion and the Maroon Devils led 22-6 with 9:06 left in the third quarter.
Cherokee started from their own 14 yard line following a holding penalty on the kickoff. The Braves were forced to punt following another three and out. The snap on the punt was bad and punter Carmichael had to jump on the ball.
Once again, Swain found themselves with a first and goal from the Cherokee 9 yard line. On third down, Green got into the endzone from two yards out. McMahan added the two-point conversion and Swain extended its lead to 30-6 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Neither team scored again in the third quarter, but Swain added three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard run by Austin Shuler, a 28-yard run by Caleb Queen, and a 56-yard run by Hyatt.
This week, Cherokee hosts winless Rosman (0-10) for Homecoming at Ray Kinsland Stadium on Friday, Oct. 23.