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Turnovers key in Cherokee’s win over Boone Trailblazers

With two games already on the books, the Daniel Boone Trailblazers football team is still looking for its first win of the season after their most recent loss in Rogersville, a 27-7 defeat by Cherokee on Friday night. While the Blazers haven’t reached for the panic button just yet, the success of past seasons have left lofty expectations for a young group looking to continue the winning ways at Daniel Boone High School.
The Blazers entered the contest as winners against the Chiefs the past two seasons, but a big loss to Elizabethton last week in the season opener exposed holes on both sides of the ball for Boone, holes that Cherokee exploited. Running back Justin House led the attack for the Chiefs. His first touchdown, a 17-yard run following a 70 plus yard drive opened scoring in the game, putting Cherokee up 7-0 in the first quarter.
A few minutes later, House and the Cherokee offense went at it again, this time putting together another long drive capped off by a 13-yard touchdown reception by House from quarterback Ty Ryans.
Down 14-0, Boone fought back. After holding the Chiefs on third down, Austin McLemore took the ensuing Cherokee punt 60 yards to set up a 20-yard touchdown run by Cliff Sanders.
Following the extra point, the Blazers were within a touchdown midway through the second quarter. With under a minute to play before the half, Cherokee dealt the Blazers a backbreaker, this time on a Ryans touchdown toss from 10 yards out. The Chiefs took a 21-7 advantage into the half.
Although the Blazers’ defense stepped up in the second half, holding the high-powered Cherokee offense to zero points, turnovers would be Boone’s undoing.
The only touchdown for either team came in the third quarter when House, also a defensive back for the Chiefs, stepped in front of a Jacob Littleton pass, taking it back 70 yards for the touchdown.
It was just one of seven Boone turnovers, five of which were interceptions. Cherokee missed the extra point, but continued unraveling Boone’s offense throughout the second half for a 27-7 win.
Despite the loss, the Blazers finished with more total yards on offense, outgaining the Chiefs with 230 total yards. Boone finished with 165 yards on the ground with Sanders leading the Blazer ground attack with 64 yards. McLemore was just behind him with 59.
Other than the first two touchdowns from long drives, the Blazers looked capable on defense, especially in the trenches. But falling in their second straight game, both by decisive margins, the upcoming week of practice for the Blazers will be an important one.
Boone will have to maintain or regain their confidence while trying to establish more offensive efficiency.
The Blazers will open conference play Friday, Sept. 2 at Volunteer.
Boone’s Washington County counterpart, David Crockett, had an open date Friday and will resume play on Sept. 2 at the Stone Castle of Tennessee High.