SEVIERVILLE - In an attempt to counter Sevier County High School's speed, Cherokee coach Mike Sivert installed some new schemes last week.
"It didn't work obviously," Sivert said. "The sad truth of it is they are just so much quicker than us. They've been too fast for a lot of people."
The Smoky Bears rolled out to a 49-13, first-half lead en route to a 52-20 Inter Mountain Athletic Conference win Friday night at Sevier County.
"We tried to do things to offset their speed. You try to make adaptations, but you can't emulate speed in practice with your second string. That's huge. If you can't practice against it, you don't see it until you're in games and it's full-speed," Sivert said.
The Smoky Bears have plenty of it, answering Cole Russell's one-yard touchdown run that cut Sevier's lead to 7-6 with 1:12 in the first with a 66-yard touchdown pass two plays later to go up, 14-6, with :27 left in the opening quarter.
When the Chiefs finally got on the board again, Ty Ryans' 65-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Trent with 4:20 left in the half, cut the lead to 28-13.
However, the Smoky Bears returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to kill any Cherokee momentum.
"They're a very talented ball club," Sivert said. "They're on a mission. We've got to put that one behind us and get on a mission of our own."
Cherokee (4-4) hosts Seymour Friday night before closing the regular season Oct. 26 hosting Cocke County.
"We're in pretty good shape," Sivert said. "We've got to get over the psychological aspect. We've had two games back to back with the disappointing Jeff County loss and this one. "But it's very upbeat. We're getting ready for the next two," Sivert said.
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