MARIETTA — Sprayberry may be the Yellow Jackets, but it was Sequoyah buzzing all over the field Friday night on its way to a 42-14 victory that clinched the Chiefs a state playoff berth.
Sequoyah’s offense piled on more than 400 yards in the Region 7AAAAA play-in game, while its defense smothered Sprayberry (3-7) with pressure.
“They played better than us,” said Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford. “They out-executed us. It wasn’t about anything (Sequoyah) did systematically. It was individuals getting beat.”
Blake Ingleton led Sequoyah (7-3) with 168 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. The senior scored on a 26-yard run on the Chiefs’ first possession before adding scores from 5 and 3 yards out in the second quarter. He capped his night with a 14-yard touchdown run with 9:33 remaining in the game before the reserves took over.
In a 41-34 victory over the Yellow Jackets at Jim Frazier Stadium earlier this season, Ingleton ran for six touchdowns.
Stuart Glassic also had a big night for Sequoyah, finishing with a 155 yards on eight carries. His 75-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter put the Chiefs up 35-7 and essentially wrapped up the victory.
“They made more plays than we did,” Shackelford said. “That’s all there is to it.”
Touchdowns by Ingleton put Sequoyah up 21-0 before Sprayberry responded. Jontae Williams found the end zone for the Yellow Jackets on a 2-yard completion from Shane Young with a 1:18 remaining before the half.
Rather than airing the ball out on the ensuing possession, the Sequoyah offense did something just as effective. They put the ball in the hands of Ingleton, who ran for 24 yards to set up a 40-yard pass from Lex Lauletta to Nick Falco. The point-after by James Harris made it 28-7 at the half.
After second-half touchdowns by Ingleton and Glassic, Young scored on a 3-yard run with 4:56 remaining in the game to make it 42-14, but when the Yellow Jackets’ pooch kick failed to produce a turnover, the offense did not have an opportunity to take the field again.
Sequoyah coach James Teter said he is proud of the way his players fought back from a 1-2 start to the season to qualify for the playoffs since 2008, the year before Teter came to the school.
“I think we have gotten better each week,” he said. “They wanted it. They found it in them to fight.”
The coach passed much of the credit for holding the usually explosive Sprayberry offense in check to his defensive coordinator, Luke Coleman.
“The kids just played hard,” Coleman said. “They are learning the schemes and hitting the button more. They wanted it.”
Sequoyah will open the first round of the playoffs next Friday on the road.