JV FOOTBALL: Braves defeat previously unbeaten Swain Co.

by Sep 22, 2023SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments


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. – On a night dialed up for football, the Cherokee JV Braves (5-1) handed rival Swain Co. (5-1) its first loss of the season.  The Braves took advantage of several Maroon Devil turnovers en route to a 26-14 victory at Ray Kinsland Stadium on the cool, crisp evening of Thursday, Sept. 21.


The teams started slowly in the first quarter as they each had one possession and each turned the ball over on downs after short drives.

Cherokee’s Kymani Foalima runs down the sideline on a 39-yard pick six touchdown just before halftime during a game between the Cherokee JV Braves and the Swain Co. JV Maroon Devils at Ray Kinsland Stadium on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 21. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

The second quarter started with a boom as Swain’s Kaden Sawyer ran 76 yards for a touchdown on the first place of the quarter.  Blake Lambert ran for the two-point conversion, and Swain led 8-0 just 14 seconds into the second.

The Braves started their second possession of the game in good field position at their own 44-yard line.  This drive started out nicely as Landon Seay ran 19 yards on the first play.  This started a 12-play drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Dawon Panther to Drallen Ledford.  The two-point play failed, and Cherokee trailed 8-6 with 4:46 left in the half.

Swain started at their own 24-yard line following the kickoff.  They moved the ball up to the 39-yard line when Cherokee’s Kymani Foalima intercepted the ball and ran down the right sideline for a pick-six touchdown.  Panther hit Ledford for the two-point pass play, and Cherokee took a 14-8 lead into the locker room.

The third quarter looked a lot like the first.

Cherokee got the ball first in the half but fumbled on the third play.  It was recovered by Swain’s Houston Hornbuckle, and Swain got the ball back in good field position at the Cherokee 46-yard line, but they turned the ball over on downs after four plays.  Cherokee took over on their own 40-yard line.  The Braves had eight plays in their drive but also turned the ball over on downs.

Swain took over at their own 34-yard line on their next possession.  The Maroon Devils fumbled on the first play of the drive which was recovered by Cherokee’s Noah Watty at the Swain 40-yard line.

Six plays later, Cherokee found the end zone again as Panther hit Dillon Beam on a 32-yard touchdown pass.  The two-point try failed, and Cherokee led 20-8 with only 8.8 seconds left in the third.

Swain’s Kaden Cucumber (#20) chases Cherokee’s Drallen Ledford (#33) who just made a catch. On the night, Ledford caught two touchdown passes (14, 37 yds).

The Maroon Devils started their next possession at their own 49-yard line.  On second down, Cherokee’s Ogana Swimmer intercepted a Swain pass and took it all the way to the house.  While a penalty negated the touchdown run, Cherokee still retained possession and took over at their own 38-yard line.  The Braves were able to move the ball into Swain territory but turned it over on downs.

Swain started at its own 45-yard line for its next possession, and 12 plays later Jake Bradley caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Blake Lambert.  The two-point try failed, and Cherokee remained on top 20-14 with 3:06 left in the game.

Following a failed onsides kick, Cherokee started in great field position at their own 49-yard line.  Four plays later, Pheasant hit Ledford on a 37-yard touchdown pass.  The two-point try failed, and Cherokee led 26-14 with 1:46 left.

Swain’s last possession of the game started at their own 28-yard line and lasted one play as Swimmer got his second interception of the game.  The Braves ran out the clock to take the 26-14 win.

Cherokee travels to Murphy on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. for their final game of the season.