By: Lee Ramsey

South-Doyle runningback turns the corner. (the Herald / Lee Ramsey)

South-Doyle runningback turns the corner. (the Herald / Lee Ramsey)

What happens when speed meets speed? The game can go either way and in this case it went wrong for the South-Doyle Cherokees football team as the Anderson County Mavericks defeated the Cherokees 32-27 in Clinton. The loss ends the season for South-Doyle.

South-Doyle put up a valiant effort but even with Anderson County’s top running back Matthew Fox out with an ankle injury, the Cherokees still couldn’t come out on top as the Mavericks senior quarterback, Tyler Hicks, came through. His outstanding performance covered for the injured Fox who had over 2,300 yards rushing on the season.

It was a battle of the heavyweights in the Class 5A second round game.

Hicks rushed for 131 yards with 114 coming in the second half with three rushing touchdowns also in the second half including the go ahead 8 yard touchdown run with 2 minutes to play.

The Mavericks (11-1) outscored the Cherokees (7-5) 25-6 in the second half.

Anderson County will now advance to the state quarterfinals. They will face the West Rebels.

South-Doyle’s Joc Bruce lived up to his reputation as he rushed for 280 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries.

Things were looking good for the Cherokees with 6:10 remaining as Bruce shot up the middle on a 62 yard scamper for the go ahead touchdown and PAT.

“He’s so special,” said South-Doyle coach Clark Duncan. “He did some amazing things.”

The downside for the Cherokees was that the Mavericks answered with an 11 play 73 yard drive that used over four minutes of the clock.

South-Doyle then took over from the Maverick 40 with two minutes to go. The opportunity was there but the Cherokees didn’t cash in.

Three penalties stalled the drive and South-Doyle’s dream ended on a Maverick interception on fourth down by Evan Irwin.

Win or lose, S-D football Coach Duncan has taken the Cherokees a long way in four years from a winless season to the second level of the playoffs.

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