The Braves almost doubled the net yards of Rabun Gap (Ga.) and the scoreboard reflected it as Cherokee won their homecoming game 36-16 on Friday, Sept. 30.
Caleb Queen gained 107 yards on 14 carries and scored once. Queen, along with Jeremy Saunooke, was named co-Player of the Game by the CHS Coaching staff. Cory Johnson gained 69 yards on 14 carries and scored twice as the Braves totaled 248 yards on the ground.
The passing game was on as well as QB Ray Smith completed 7 of 11 passes for 95 yards and a score. TE Greg Tisho led the receiving corps with five catches for 72 yards.
Cherokee now has a kicking game to speak of. Derrick Ledford has been working overtime in practice and it paid off Friday night as he went 5 for 5 on extra points.
Rabun Gap turned the ball over three times (two fumbles, 1 INT) and Cherokee lost two fumbles. The Braves were penalty-happy though with 11 for 91 yards.
The game was a tale of two halves. Cherokee scored all of its points in the first half and Rabun Gap scored all of its points in the second.
The Braves got things going in the first quarter as Smith hit Poncho Ramirez on a 38-yard touchdown pass. Derrick Ledford added the extra point and Cherokee led 7-0 midway through the quarter.
Two minutes later, Queen ran 63 yards for his score. Ledford added the extra point and Cherokee extended its lead to 14-0 at the end of the first.
The Braves added three more scores in the second quarter. Johnson scored twice on runs of 3 yards and 13 yards and Tisho recovered a Rabun Gap fumbled and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown. Ledford added all three extra points and Cherokee took a 35-0 lead into the locker room.
Now, it was Rabun Gap’s turn.
Late in the third quarter Morgan Souder kicked a 29-yard field goal to put them on the board 35-3.
A few minutes into the fourth quarter, Perez Knowles ran for a 31-yard score. The extra point kick was no good and Cherokee led 35-9 with nine minutes left in the game.
Then, with just two minutes left, Knowles ran 29 yards for his second score of the game. Jake Gajda added the extra point to make it 35-16 which is how the game would end.
Tisho led the way for the Braves with 13 tackles followed by Forrest Stamper with 11 and Gabe McMillan with seven. Tisho also recovered two fumbles including the one he took back to the house in the second quarter.
The Braves (3-4) travel to rival Swain (6-1) this Friday, Oct. 7. Swain is coming off a big win against Hayesville 43-6. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
– One Feather staff report by Scott McKie B.P.
RUSHING: Cherokee – Caleb Queen 14 att, 104 yds, 1 TD; Cory Johnson 14 att, 69 yds, 2 TD; Greg Tisho 5 att, 25 yds; Rabun Gap – Perez Knowles 11 att, 70 yds, 2 TD; Steven Sonu 7 att, 57 yds; Gerrio Rahming 10 att, 28 yds
PASSING: Cherokee – Ray Smith 7 of 11, 95 yds, 1 TD; Rabun Gap – Dallas Earnhardt 1 of 7, 32 yds; Perez Knowles 1 of 7, 18 yds
FIRST DOWNS: Cherokee 16, Rabun Gap 10
TOTAL NET YARDS: Cherokee 373, Rabun Gap 201
PENALTIES: Cherokee 11 for 91 yds; Rabun Gap 6 for 68 yds
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: Cherokee 3 of 9, Rabun Gap 4 of 13
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS: Cherokee 0 of 2, Rabun Gap 0 of 1
BRAVES PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Caleb Queen and Jeremy Saunooke
1st – 5:50 – Ray Smith (Cher) 38-yard pass to Poncho Ramirez, Derrick Ledford kick
1st – 2:52 – Caleb Queen (Cher) 63-yard run, Ledford kick
2nd – 10:24 – Cory Johnson (Cher) 3-yard run, Ledford kick
2nd – 9:36 – Johnson (Cher) 13-yard run, Ledford kick
2nd – 3:42 – Greg Tisho (Cher) 86-yard fumble recovery, Ledford kick
3rd – 0:35 – Morgan Souder (RB) 29-yard field goal
4th – 9:10 – Perez Knowles (RB) 31-yard run, kick failed
4th – 2:06 – Knowles (RB) 29-yard run, Jake Gajda kick