Season gets grueling start
by Emily Horos
September 01, 2013 01:17 AM | 2133 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cherokee coach Josh Shaw knows a saying — “1-0 at 9:45.”

Meaning, the season kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and he wins in a little over two hours.

That certainly wasn’t the story of his game Friday night.

“That is the longest game I have ever been a part of,” he said.

Whether it was the scoring (87 total points), the passing (75 combined passing attempts) or the flags (24 accepted penalties), Cherokee’s game at Creekview lasted nearly 3½ hours.

By the time the Warriors reached the locker room following their 53-34 victory over Creekview, they already knew that Sequoyah, their next opponent, had blown out River Ridge 56-7.

“That definitely got our attention,” Shaw said. “I told my kids, ‘Enjoy it, but we are practicing and watching film Monday morning.’”

Shaw said while all the stats might not have been pretty, when the team is coming off a 1-9 season, winning a game — no matter how messy — feels good. He was pleased with the way the offense was able to move the ball, putting up 36 points by halftime.

Last year, Cherokee averaged just nine points per game.

“We are just trying to take baby steps and put the ball in the end zone,” Shaw said.

With Cherokee scoring 53 points — its most in a single game since putting up 57 against Milton in 2003 — and Sequoyah putting up 56 in its win over River Ridge, some might see a shootout in the cards.

Sequoyah coach James Teter doubts that will happen.

“That isn’t really our style,” he said. “It might be on their side, but for us, we are going to try to run the clock down.”

Etowah also picked up a season-opening win, topping Lambert. Coach Dave Svehla felt it was a strong start to the season, but just that — a start.

As Woodstock found out Friday, an opening victory doesn’t mean much if you can’t follow up.

The Wolverines, who opened the season a week before the other Cherokee County teams, fell at Harrison in their second game of the season.

“We have got to take care of us,” coach Brent Budde said. “We didn’t do that.”

Special teams made several costly errors for Woodstock, while quarterbacks Alex Motsinger and Justin Agner took too many sacks.

“You think that the film is going to show something that is really bad, but it doesn’t show that,” Budde said. “It just shows a lot of little things done incorrectly that add up to big things.”

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