By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
BAKERSVILLE – The Cherokee Braves (9-5) ended their 2016 campaign with a third round playoff loss on a chilly night in Mitchell County. The Mountaineer’s quarterback, Ben Young, had 375 yard of total offense, as Mitchell (13-1) topped the Braves 45-14 and advanced to the Regional Finals of the 1A state playoffs.
Cherokee was led by Tye Mintz, junior quarterback, who completed 17 of 29 passes for 158 yards and rushed 14 times for 114 yards. He mixed it up completing passes to four different receivers including: Holden Straughan 6 rec, 60 yards; Isaiah Evans 6 rec, 48 yards; Cade Mintz 3 rec, 55 yards, 1 TD; and George Swayney 2 rec, 20 yards. Evans also ran 13 times for 36 yards and one touchdown.
Damion Blanton and Byron Locust led Cherokee on the defensive side of the ball with 10 tackles each. Tye Mintz had 7 tackles and one sack and Holden Straughan had 7 tackles.
The first quarter was even with both teams moving the ball some. Mitchell got on the board first as Young ran 12 yards for the first score of the game. Luis Velazquez added the extra point, and the Mountaineers led 7-0 just four minutes into the game.
Cherokee evened the game up six minutes later as Evans completed a halfback pass to Cade Mintz for a 35-yard score. Tino Pete added the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
The first half of the second quarter was almost identical to the first quarter with both teams scoring right after the other. Mitchell took the lead on a 80-yard pass play from Young to Brody Smith. After Velazquez’s kick, the Mountaineers led 14-7.
Four minutes later, Evans got into the end zone on a 1-yard run. Zak Perez added the extra point, and the game was tied up again, 14-14, at the 5:26 mark of the second.
Mitchell would go on to score two more times in the quarter though as Young connected with Smith on a 29-yard pass and then Young ran for a 26-yard score. Velazquez added both extra points, and the Mountaineers took a 28-14 lead into the locker room.
The second half was all Mitchell as they scored three times. Ben Robinson scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter, Landon Miller scored on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth, and then Velazquez kicked a 23-yard field goal to round out the scoring at 45-14.
To view or purchase photos from this game, visit: https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/FOOTBALL/BRAVES-FOOTBALL-2016/At-Mitchell-December-2/