Sycamore defeated in-county rival Cheatham County Central 34-7 last Friday night during the War Eagles’ senior night and the annual battle for the Powder Keg.
Grady McPherson and Noah Webb got the scoring started for Sycamore as Webb hauled in a 19-yard reception for a touchdown with a little less than three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Sycamore took a 7-0 lead and that would be the score at the end of the first.
Do-it-all fullback, defensive lineman and kicker Eli Pallares found a sliver of space up the middle after a handoff for only a few yards, but it was enough for Sycamore to get its second touchdown of the game midway through the second. Sycamore took a 14-0 lead over Cheatham with 5:44 left in the half.
Cheatham took possession and looked to get back into the game, but a fumbled snap deep inside its own possession allowed Dakota Dodd to recover the fumble and take it into the end zone for a defensive touchdown that gave Sycamore a 21-0 lead.
Cheatham got the ball back and put together its best drive of the night. Running back Jamecyn Bowen found some running room behind Justin Loftis and the rest of the offensive line.
Quarterback Cooper Owen and Bryson Entrikin both contributed in the running game, as well.
On second and goal, Bowen took a handoff, followed his blocks and found the end zone to cut the Sycamore lead to 21-7 at halftime.
Cheatham County Central took possession of the ball first in the second half, but a fumble early in the drive gave the ball to Sycamore in the red zone.
Grady McPherson, who lined up at quarterback for most of the night, lined up at wide receiver in goal line, under center sets with senior Tyler Hall taking the snaps at quarterback. The lineup worked well, too.
After recovering the Cheatham fumble, Sycamore took advantage on the next play. Hall threw a fade route in the corner of the end zone, and McPherson came down with it to give Sycamore a 28-7 lead.
Houston Hudspeth went to have a strong fourth quarter, grabbing two interceptions.
After one of the interceptions, Alec “Cowboy” Williams was able to find the end zone and give Sycamore the win.
“They’ve played hard all year. The results just haven’t showed yet,” said Sycamore coach Mark Hall. “We had a few mental mistakes, but the effort and the heart was there. It feels good to get that goose egg off that win column.”
One of the unsung heroes for Cheatham County was punter Liam Hayes. On a rainy night, Cheatham’s offense had a few issues finding a rhythm, so he found himself out there a few times. Not every snap was perfect, either, and Hayes found a way to collect each snap and boot some strong punts to flip field position.
“Liam is a very talented athlete and for a first-year player, he has played very well,” said Cheatham County coach Gary Halstead. “Whatever we ask, these guys do it.”
With the win, Sycamore will now turn its attention to Camden. It will be an away game and a win-and-you’re-in scenario. The winner of the Sycamore-Camden game will secure the final playoff spot.
“That’s what we talked about this week,” Hall said. “We had to take it one game at time, and I told them to enjoy this game this weekend, and it’s been a long year, but when we come in Monday, we’ve got to get ready for Camden.”
Cheatham will play host to Harpeth in its final game of the season.
“Our seniors are having a tough time with all these losses,” Halstead said. “But we still have one more opportunity.”