The Chiefs won 53-21 at Skip Pope Stadium, furthering their season for at least one more week.
“Our kids played really well and our defensive coaches made some great halftime adjustments,” Sequoyah coach James Teter said.
With its win in the Region 7AAAAA crossover, Sequoyah (8-2) will be the region’s No. 3 seed and will travel to South Paulding, the Region 5AAAAA runner-up, next week.
Despite the crooked number on the scoreboard, Sequoyah’s victory was not without its share of drama.
After falling behind 26-0 early in the second quarter, Pope (3-7) showed signs of life by putting together an 11-play scoring drive that was finished off by a 10-yard touchdown run by Taylor Wolf — the first of the quarterback’s three rushing scores.
A fumble by Chiefs quarterback Lex Lauletta on the next possession turned into a Greyhound score, courtesy of Wolf’s run from 1 yard out.
The turnover bug held its bite on both sides.
First, Sequoyah’s Adam Patterson fumbled after a 25-yard reception. That takeaway was nearly turned into six points before Wolf fumbled at the goal line, and spoiled Pope’s opportunity to make it a one-possession game before the break.
“I got a little worried when they almost scored at halftime,” Teter said. “(It was) 21-26 after being up 26-nothing — it got a little hairy.”
Sequoyah outscored Pope 27-7 in the second half, holding the Greyhounds to only two first downs after they tallied 14 in the first half.
Lauletta was a crisp 8-of-9 for 225 yards and two touchdowns for Sequoyah. He also ran the ball six times for 88 yards and another touchdown.
Pope were paced by Mason Shiflett, who rushed 22 times for 103 yards, and Wolf, who carried the ball 12 times for 48 yards.
Despite the big loss to close out the year, Pope coach Matt Kemper said he would remember this group for its resolve throughout the season.
“(This team) never quit,” Kemper said. “People will say what they’ll say, and it didn’t turn out the way we wanted. Obviously, you want to win the football game, but these young men are quality people and they fought their butts off. That’s all you can ever ask.”