Lumpkin football falls to Cherokee Bluff 45-14

  • Running back BoJack Dowdy finds his way into the end zone late in the fourth quarter against the Cherokee Bluff Bears.
    Running back BoJack Dowdy finds his way into the end zone late in the fourth quarter against the Cherokee Bluff Bears.

The LCHS varsity football team’s tough times on the gridiron during the 2019 season continued last week when the Indians fell to conference foe Cherokee Bluff 45-14 during Homecoming Night at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field last Friday, Oct 11.
“We’ve got to respond better,” said LCHS head football coach Caleb Sorrells after the game. “We’ve got to control ourselves better. We’ve got to take the emotion and the frustration and be able to channel it. I think we can. I still believe in us. We’ve got to take pride in how we respond. We’ve got to take pride in how we focus. It’s got to mean something. We’ve got to fuel the fire in their gut, not to win, but to be competitors.”
The Indians struggled on both sides of the ball against the Cherokee Bluff Bears.
The Bears took an early 3-0 lead on the opening possession of the game when they booted a 23-yard field goal with 7:58 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, LCHS kick returner Tate Reinhardt was stripped of the ball on the return. The turnover gave Cherokee Bluff good field position at the Indians’ 32-yard-line. The Bears took advantage of the turnover and quickly scored their first touchdown of the game with a 20-yard run.
The Bears held a 10-0 advantage with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
The Indians answered back on the next drive with a touchdown of their own to cut the Bears’ lead to 10-7.
Lumpkin mixed short passes with strong runs in order to drive 68 yards on seven plays. The drive ended with a 18-yard touchdown pass from LCHS quarterback Tucker Kirk to LCHS wide receiver Brian Cunane.
The touchdown reception gave the Indians their first points of the game. It would be the only points that the Indians would get in the first half of play.
While the Indians’ offense struggled for the remainder of the half, including a couple turnovers, Cherokee Bluff broke off several big plays to score four more touchdowns before the halftime break. The Bears’ Jayquan Smith had a huge first half for his team, scoring a 56-yard rushing touchdown and a 61-yard rushing touchdown. The Bears’ also recorded a 68-yard touchdown pass and a two-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown in the half.
The big plays by Cherokee Bluff put the Indians behind 38-7 at halftime.
The Indians fell even further behind at the start of the second half. After failing to sustain their opening drive of the second half, the Indians once again allowed Smith to get a big run for a touchdown. This time Smith busted through the Lumpkin defense on his way to a 64-yard touchdown. The score put Cherokee Bluff up 45-7.
The Indians scored once more late in the game when running back BoJack Dowdy plowed his way into the end zone on an eight-yard touchdown run, cutting Cherokee Bluff’s lead to 45-14 with 2:38 left on the clock.
The Indians would go on to lose the game by that score.
The defeat dropped the Indians to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in Region 7-AAA play, putting Lumpkin just above last place East Hall in the region standings.
“We had a great game plan offensively,” Sorrells said. “They did exactly what we thought they were going to do and we had some really great opportunities to take advantage of that. We did on some, but not on others. But, we didn’t take advantage enough.”
Despite the loss, Sorrells told his team that he hadn’t given up on them and that they shouldn’t give up on themselves.
“I am asking them not to give up because the coaching staff and I haven’t given up on them,” Sorrells said. “We’re going to come back next week and continue to try to get one percent better. We’ll do that one Monday, we’ll do that on Tuesday, we’ll do that on Wednesday and we’ll do that on Thursday. And, on Friday we’ll be ready to play. We’ll try to just win one play at a time.”
Sorrells also said that it didn’t help that the team was down three defensive starters going into the game.
“We’re thin already,” Sorrells said. “And, not having those guys just put us in a really bad spot.”
The Indians lost one more defensive starter for their next game versus Greater Atlanta Christian (GAC) when defensive back Tanner Kirk was ejected late in the game on an unsportsmanlike penalty.
The Indians hope to turn things around with four games left in the regular season, all of which are against region opponents.
The LCHS varsity football will face their biggest test of the season when they travel to GAC to take on the Spartans in a conference matchup this Friday, Oct. 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.