By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Asst. Editor
Note: Official statistics are not taken for junior varsity games. All times and yardages are recorded by One Feather staff at the game to the best of our ability.
CHEROKEE, N.C. – The Cherokee JV Braves (1-0) started their 2023 campaign out on a high note with a 26-8 victory over the visiting Avery Co. Vikings (0-1) at Ray Kinsland Stadium on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 17.
The first quarter was scoreless with Cherokee turning the ball over on downs twice and Avery Co. once. The Braves started their third drive of the game at the Avery 45-yard-line. Five plays later, Dawson Panther, Braves quarterback, hit Kimo Sokol on a 29-yard touchdown pass. Kingston Welch ran in for the two-point conversion, and Cherokee led 8-0 at the 7:08 mark.
Avery had a three-and-out on their next possession. Cherokee took over following the punt at its own 20-yard-line. Two plays later, Noah Watty found a seam in the Vikings defense and took off on a 61-yard touchdown run. Welch again ran for the two-point play, and Cherokee led 16-0 with four minutes left in the first half.
The Vikings next possession was cut short by a fumble that was recovered by Cherokee’s Johnny Long at the Braves 42-yard-line. Cherokee was unable to capitalize on the turnover and had a three-and-out. Avery turned the ball over on downs on the following possession, and the half ended two plays into Cherokee’s next possession.
The third quarter started out with fumbles by both teams. Avery fumbled six plays into the first possession of the half. It was recovered by Cherokee’s Levi Tramper at the Braves 47-yard-line. Cherokee drove down into Vikings territory and fumbled inside the 10-yard-line. Avery’s Colt Austin recovered the fumble at their own 7-yard-line.
Following a false start penalty on the Vikings, Tramper sacked Blaine Kirkpatrick, Avery quarterback, in the end zone for a safety to make it 18-0 with 1:46 left in the quarter.
Cherokee got the ball back following the safety. On the second play of the drive, Zaynon Taylor, Cherokee running back, ran 18 yards right up the gut for a touchdown. Landon Seay ran for the two-point conversion, and Cherokee led 26-0 with just under 10 minutes left in the game.
Avery started its next possession at the Cherokee 49-yard-line and put together a 12-play drive that culminated in a 3-yard touchdown run by Nick Daniels. Kirkpatrick ran for the two-point conversion to make it Cherokee 26 Avery Co. 8 with just over three minutes left in the game.
The next two possessions each ended in fumble turnovers. First, Cherokee fumbled the ball which was recovered by Avery’s Tanner Lindecamp. Then, Avery fumbled it back which was recovered by Tramper with his second recovery of the game.
Cherokee ran the clock out and took the 26-8 victory.
The JV Braves are in action next at Rosman on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.