By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
The fans at Ray Kinsland Stadium got their money’s worth on Thursday, Sept. 8 as the Cherokee JV Braves (2-2) took on the visiting Robbinsville JV Black Knights. The teams combined for 516 yards of total offense (Cherokee 271, Robbinsville 245), and the game came down to the Black Knights keeping the Braves out of the end zone on a two-point conversion with 24.3 seconds left to secure a 28-26 victory.
Robbinsville got the ball first in the game and drove 63 yards on 12 plays for the first score as Luke Lovin ran it in for a 10-yard touchdown. Ryleon Waldroup ran in for the two-point conversion, and the Black Knights led 8-0 after eating up more than six minutes off the clock. On the night, Waldroup carried the ball 10 times for 84 yards and 3 TDs.
The Braves had a three-and-out on their first possession and then held the Black Knights to a three-and-out. Cherokee struck quickly as Jack Jack Teesateskie, JV Braves quarterback, hit Jonathan Saylor on a 57-yard touchdown pass. Javon Garcia ran in for the two-point conversion, and the game was tied 8-8 early in the second quarter.
The Braves’ passing game was on point all night as Teesateskie went 10 for 16 for 231 yards and 3 TDs. Saylor, who caught all of Teesateskie’s touchdown passes on the night, caught 6 total passes for 173 yards.
On their next possession, the Black Knights lined up for a punt following what appeared would be another three-and-out, but a roughing the kicker penalty on Cherokee gave Robbinsville new life. And, they would take advantage of it two plays later as Waldroup scored on a 44-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed, and Robbinsville regained the lead 14-8 with 6:41 left in the half.
The Braves turned the ball over on downs on their next possession giving Robbinsville nice field position at the Cherokee 32-yard line. Five plays later, Waldroup would get into the end zone again – this time on a 2-yard run. Again, the two-point conversion failed, and the Black Knights took a 20-8 lead into the locker room.
Both teams would turn the ball over on their first possessions of the second half. Cherokee fumbled the ball which was recovered by Adair Panama. Three plays later, the Braves would get the ball back as Teesateskie would intercept the ball near the Robbinsville 40-yard line.
With time expiring in the half, Teesateskie hit Garcia on a 57-yard touchdown pass, and Cherokee’s fans went wild. But, it was not to be. As the Braves lined up for the two-point try, the officials announced that Robbinsville had called a time-out just prior to the touchdown pass nullifying the score.
The half ended with the Black Knights on top 20-8.
The third quarter started slowly with several punts by both teams. Late in the quarter, Cherokee got the ball on their own 40-yard line and three plays later, Teesateskie connected with Saylor on a 57-yard touchdown pass – the exact distance as the one negated earlier. The two-point try failed, and Robbinsville led 20-14.
The Black Knights punted on their next possession, and the Braves got good field position at their own 47-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Teesateskie hit Saylor on a 44-yard touchdown strike to tie the game at 20-20 – the two-point try failed.
Robbinsville ate up some clock as them embarked on a 9-play drive that culminated in a 15-yard touchdown run by Waldroup. Tillman Adams rushed for the two-point conversion which would end up being the game winner. The Black Knights led 28-20 with 3:35 left in the game.
Cherokee started the final drive of the game at their own 26-yard line. They began to move down the field behind the passing arm of Teesateskie who connected with Zach Seay on passes of 43-yards and 13-yards respectively. Teesateskie finished the job himself on a 1-yard quarterback keeper for the score with only 24.3 seconds left in the game.
But, as aforementioned, the Black Knights held the Braves from the two-point conversion and took the win 28-26.
Emiliano Garcia led Cherokee defensively with 11 tackles (9 solo) followed by Chaske Raines 7 (5 solo), Zaynon Taylor 6 (5 solo), Zach Seay 5 (5 solo), and Jayden Tramper 5 (3 solo). The Black Knights were led defensively by Andrew Adams with 5 tackles (4 solo) followed by Adair Panama 5 (2 solo), and Owen Blevins 3 (3 solo).
Cherokee travels to Andrews for more JV Braves action on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m.