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By TYLER MANNING
It’s not often you witness middle school football teams airing the football time in and time out, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday evening at Dr. Nat Sugarman Memorial Field, where the Cherokee Yellow Jackets played host to Jefferson Eagles of Oak Ridge.
By looking at both teams before the game, one could have assumed that Jefferson would have dominated based off their size up front. That wasn’t the case as Cherokee’s speed and shifty offense racked up 36 points in a 36-16 blowout win.
Cherokee got on the board first with a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Plemens to Nathan Jones to put the Jackets up 6-0 after an unsuccessful two-point try.
The Jackets would quickly begin the attack again after recovering the fumble on the kickoff, only to turn the ball back over to Jefferson to start the second quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Cherokee’s Matt Spellman would connect a 41-yard pass to Jones to give Jones his second touchdown.
Jones also converted the two-point conversion, giving the Jackets a 14-0 cushion.
Jefferson didn’t stay quite long as their playmaker quarterback, Caleb Arton, would lead the Eagles down the field and score on a six-yard scramble.
The two-point conversion was completed to cut the Jacket’s lead 14-6.
As the second half began, Cherokee wasted no time in finding the end zone as Jones again would find his way into the end zone for a third time off a rush for 25 yards.
Jones would also stick the two-point conversion in to bump up the lead 22-8 in favor of Cherokee.
The Jackets held off a bit before striking again in the fourth quarter.
Early in the period, the young gunslinger Plemens would connect with the man of the hour, Jones for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
That touchdown gave Plemens his second passing touchdown of the evening and was Jones fourth total.
The conversion would be good, making the score 30-8.
Jefferson would have a slight answer when Caleb Arton turned a desperation scramble into a 54-yard touchdown run, along with the two-point conversion that cut the Jackets lead down to 30-16.
With about five minutes remaining in the game, Cherokee’s work horse Matthew Spellman sealed the deal with a rushing touchdown from six yards out.
The conversion would be no good, making the score a final of 36-16.
Jefferson threatened one last time but were unsuccessful as Alex Acosta picked off a pass deep in Jacket territory to seal the deal.
Plemens finished out the evening 6-11 for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Spellman finished off the night with 13 attempts for 93 yards and a touchdown to go along with it, he was 3-4 passing with 62 yards and a touchdown as well.
Nathan Jones finished off his fantastic game with six receptions for 136 yards and three touchdowns, rushing wise, Jones went for nine attempts with 60 yards and a touchdown to finish his night.
Cherokee will be in action again Thursday night with a road game at Rockwood.