Sequoyah to face Creekview in Cherokee County’s first top-10 showdown

Credit: Adam Krohn

Credit: Adam Krohn

Three Region 6-AAAAAA teams are undefeated heading into the second half of the regular season, but only two will stay that way after Sequoyah travels to Creekview on Friday for the first matchup of top-10 teams in the history of high school football in Cherokee County.

Sequoyah is 4-0 overall and 2-0 in region play, and its No. 4 ranking is the highest in the program’s 29-year history. Fifth-ranked Creekview, which went 6-4 last year but failed to make the playoffs, is 5-0 for the first time (3-0 in region games) and in the top 10 for the fifth consecutive week. The Grizzlies had been ranked for only two weeks (both in 2009) in their first 12 seasons.

“We’re approaching it like just another game,” Sequoyah coach James Teter told Alex Resnak of the Cherokee Tribune. “For us, it’s just as important as any other region game. If we lose this one, we have our backs up against the wall the rest of the way, so they’re all pretty big from here.”

Sequoyah’s Cole Jacobs (406 yards on 44 carries) and Jackson Smith (269 yards on 48 carries) lead a rushing attack that averages 281.3 yards per game. Creekview’s running game averages 246.2 yards and is led by Cade Radam’s 729 yards and six touchdowns on 103 carries. He has rushed for at least 100 yards in every game this season. Ethan Dirrim has rushed for 324 yards on 43 carries.

The biggest difference between the teams is in the passing game. Creekview’s Dirrim and Brody Rhodes are a combined 59-of-103 passing for 663 yards. Sequoyah has attempted just 30 passes, completing 19 for 315 yards.

Defending champion Harrison, which has the week off, is 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the region. The Hoyas will conclude the regular season with back-to-back road games against Sequoyah on Oct. 26 and Creekview on Nov. 2.

Here are four other games involving Class AAAAAA teams to keep an eye on this weekend:

*Centennial at Alpharetta: These are two of the three remaining teams that haven't lost a game in Region 7 play, and the winner will be tied for first place with Johns Creek, which has a bye week. Alpharetta's 34-31 win over Centennial last year in the region opener ultimately decided the championship, as neither lost another regular-season game. Alpharetta is 8-4 all-time against the Knights.

*Dacula at Gainesville: Two-time defending 8-AAAAAA champion Dacula opens region play against a Gainesville team that has struggled to the worst start in the program's long history. Gainesville is 0-5, but all of the losses have come against ranked or higher-classification teams. Dacula (3-2) has not lost a region game since dropping from the highest classification before the 2016 season.

*Lee County at Thomson: This is Lee County's only game in a three-week stretch, surrounded by two bye weekends. The defending state champions have the top offense (averaging 42.8 points per game) and top defense (allowing 3.2 points per game) in AAAAAA. Thomson is an uncharacteristic 2-3 but still projected as a No. 2 seed in the AAAA playoffs by the computer Maxwell Ratings.

*Lovejoy at Tucker (Adams Stadium): Sole possession of first place will be at stake when Lovejoy and Tucker renew their rivalry in Region 4. Tucker (3-2, 3-0) is the two-time defending region champion and has won 17 straight region games since the start of the 2016 season. Lovejoy (3-2, 3-0) is 14-3 in region play during that same stretch, its only losses coming to either Tucker of Stephenson.