The phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” held true for the Cherokee Indians last Friday night at Zephyr. The Indians had their way with the Bulldogs the first half of the game, leading by 24 points five different times. The Bulldogs woke up in the 2nd half and chipped away at the Indian lead until they made it a game. There was one questionable call that impacted the outcome of the game when Tucker Corsi crossed the goal line but was ruled down at the 1 foot line. Everyone on the Indian’s side thought Corsi scored, which would have given the Indians the lead with a few seconds left in the game. Not having the services of Duncan Roberts, Mikey Smith, and Ryan Breadner, as well as Corsi having a tender shoulder, have created big challenges for the Indians to overcome. The players who have had to assume new roles have been giving their best effort to keep the Indians in these close games.
The Indians scored on their first 3 possessions of the game. Nieves Solis passed to Jesse Perez for a 15 yard TD. Corsi kicked the PAT. Corsi scored the next two TDs on runs of 40 and 44 yards and kicked both PATs to put the Indians up 24-0 in just over 4 minutes. Zephyr scored their first touchdown on an 8 yard run. The PAT was blocked by Solis. With 1:12 left in the opening period, Perez scored on a 16 yard run. The PAT failed. The Indians led 30-6 at the end of the 1st quarter.
The Bulldogs scored first in the 2nd quarter on a 30 yard pass play and added the PAT. The Indians answered with a 19 yard pass play from Solis to Josh Perry. Corsi kicked the PAT to put the Indians up 38-14 with 5:43 left in the half. Zephyr countered with a 7 yard TD run and PAT. The Indians scored again with 1:15 left in the half as Perez plowed through to the endzone. Corsi’s PAT was good. Cherokee kept their 24 point cushion, 46-22. Zephyr quickly hit paydirt with a 50 yard pass play with :57 on the clock. The PAT was good. With :24 left in the half, Corsi scampered 25 yards to the endzone and added the PAT to put the Indians up 54-30 at halftime.
The Bulldogs came out on a roll in the 3rd quarter, scoring 3 unanswered touchdowns, two on passes of 8 and 24 yards, and one on an 11 yard run. They kicked one of their PATs. The other two were blocked by Perry and Perez. This cut the Indians’ lead to 54-50 with 2:41 left in the quarter. The Indians rebounded as Corsi broke loose on a 51 yard run and added the PAT to boost the Indians’ lead to 62-50. With 0:34 on the clock, Zephyr scored on a 1 yard run and added the PAT to close the gap to 62-58.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 7:44 on the clock in the 4th quarter on another 1 yard run. Perry blocked the PAT, but the Bulldogs had a 62-64 lead. With 3:22 remaining in the game, Perez carried the load to the endzone for a 5 yard TD. The PAT failed, but the Indians had a slim 68-64 lead. The Bulldogs worked the ball down the field and scored on an 11 yard run with 2:08 on the clock. The PAT was good, giving them a 68-72 lead. The Indians drove the ball down the field and with 4th down facing the squad, Corsi broke through the line and headed for the endzone. He was ruled down inside the 1 yard line, but the Indians had their first down with :16 on the clock. The next play, a Bulldog lineman met the Indian running back in the gap, causing a fumble which Zephyr recovered.
The Indians will travel to Lohn Friday night. Kickoff is 7:30. Win, lose, or draw, these Indians are exciting to watch.