Two junior South-Doyle football players have been recognized by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association as All-State performers in 2013. Jocques Bruce (Athlete) and Mason McNutt (Offensive Lineman) were named to the Class 5A All State team for their performance in helping lead the way for the Cherokees throughout the 2013 campaign.
Bruce finished the season with 1936 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns, both South-Doyle High records. McNutt has been a dominating presence along the line of scrimmage for three consecutive seasons, having started 34 straight games since his freshman year.
Bruce and McNutt helped lead the way as South-Doyle advanced to the second round of the 2013 TSSAA Playoffs. Congratulations to Joc and Mason for this much-deserved recognition at the state level.
A large and enthusiastic crowd from South of the River followed their beloved Cherokees up to Jefferson County on Friday, September 6th. The game was the first region game of the year for both squads, and everyone anticipated a tough IMAC battle that would make a statement about the region in 2013. Cherokee fans in attendance were the ones celebrating at night’s end after the Kees won a hard-fought 28-14 victory over the Patriots.
South-Doyle overcame an early 7-0 deficit after seeing Jefferson County running back Dearies Jones sprint 85 yards for a touchdown on the game’s second play. However, the Cherokees didn’t panic, and battled back to take the first half lead thanks to a pair of Jocquez Bruce touchdown runs of his own covering 6 and 51 yards. Logan Mathes extra points after each score made the score 14-7 at the close of the first half.
The third quarter saw an increasingly aggressive South-Doyle defensive unit bottle up the Patriots offense, while Bruce took off on a 76 yard touchdown run to put the Kees up 21-7. Just when the South-Doyle crowd started to breath a little easier, and took a sip of their Coke, Jones took the ensuing kick-off back 94 yards for his second big play of the game for the Patriots. The score had been closed to 21-14 and the game entered the 4th quarter with the outcome still in question.
The South-Doyle defensive unit continues to grow up in these early season games, and their play in the second half was key to the Kee victory. Not only did the defense pitch a shutout after the early long Jones touchdown run in the first quarter, they created opportunities for the SD offense with turnovers. No Patriot turnover was bigger than the one in the fourth quarter as Bruce stripped the ball from a Jefferson County receiver. The ball bounced perfectly into the hands of safety Brody Rollins, who sprinted up the sideline for a 58 yard touchdown. The defense made the 28-14 lead stand up as the final score by bending but not breaking on a late drive by the Patriots. Rollins also intercepted a pass, along with defensive mates Jacob Jones and Greyson Riffey.
As Jacob Faucette took the final snap in the Victory Formation, this Band of Cherokees had achieved something no other South-Doyle team has done in their time in the Inter Mountain Athletic Conference…defeated the Jefferson County Patriots. Now at 2-0 overall and 1-0 in Region 2 AAA, the Cherokees turn their focus back to a non-region foe next week. The Hardin Valley Hawks will fly into the Chop House at South-Doyle High coming off their own region victory over William Blount. Yet another big challenge awaits for the Cherokees as they seek to move to 3-0 for the second consecutive season.
A special note…the game next week is on Thursday night at 7:00. The game will be televised on MyVLT, so kick-off is at 7:00 instead of the normal 7:30 kick-off. A large and enthusiastic crowd is expected, so arrive early to get your seat.
The South-Doyle Cherokees and Jefferson County Patriots meet at Jefferson County on Friday, September 6. Game news and notes for the IMAC opener for both schools:
- Jefferson County opened the season with a 32-20 win over the Central Bobcats, while South-Doyle won their opener versus the Heritage Mountaineers 26-7.
- South-Doyle’s Jocquez Bruce ran for 225 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Heritage.
- Cherokees receiver Jarquese Goines collected his first career touchdown pass on a 30 yard toss from Brody Rollins versus the Mountaineers. Grant Bacon also made his first career catch with another 30 yard pass from Rollins in the fourth quarter of the opener.
- Jefferson County is ranked 10th in the state in the most recent Associated Press Class 6A Top Ten Poll. They are one of two IMAC teams ranked in the Class 6A Poll, with Sevier County ranked 5th in the state being the other.
- The Cherokees will see lots of #4 and #2 this week for the Patriots. Running back Dearies Jones (#4) is one of the top returning performers in the IMAC coming off a junior year that saw him gain nearly 1,500 yards rushing. The QB for the Patriots, Malik Styles (#2), is returning for his senior season. He is an elusive runner that creates heartburn for opposing defenses.
- The Cherokees hope to continue their winning ways on the road from last year. South-Doyle went 4-1 on the road in 2012 during the regular season.
- Jefferson County High is one of the charter members of the Inter Mountain Athletic Conference.
- With the win over Heritage, South-Doyle won their opening game for the third straight year. The Kees defeated Karns in the opening games of 2011 and 2012.
- Will history repeat itself? In 2012, South-Doyle opened their IMAC schedule on the road against Morristown West, a team they had not defeated since joining the IMAC. The Kees won 20-14 in overtime. Now, the Kees travel to Jefferson County to open the 2013 IMAC schedule…a team that has defeated South-Doyle each year since the Cherokees moved into the region.
- Jefferson County finished 8-3 in 2012, while South-Doyle finished 7-4. The difference was a 10-0 victory by the Patriots over the Kees in week 10.
- Over the past two seasons, South-Doyle’s record is 12-10, while Jefferson County has gone 13-9…nearly mirror images of one another.
Game time is 7:30 PM at Jefferson County High School.
It wasn’t always pretty, but the South-Doyle Cherokees opened the 2013 season with a 26-7 over the Heritage Mountaineers on a night dripping with humidity at Billy K. Nicely Stadium. After a start that saw both teams make mistakes that reminded everyone that is was an opening game, the jitters finally faded away, and it just became a football game.
Jocquez Bruce finally broke the scoring drought with a 60+ yard TD burst around the right side. An Allen Kidd extra point made the score 7-0. After a three and out by the South-Doyle defensive unit, the Kees were in good field position to start a drive for the first time all night, and they didn’t take long to take advantage of it. A nice completion from Brody Rollins to Shoan Labeaux set up at 26 yard touchdown run by Bruce around the right side. Kidd converted another extra point to make it 14-0. As they did throughout the night, Heritage returned the ensuing kick-off up the gut and through the Kees kick-off team. Though Kidd chased down the return man inside the 10 yard line, Heritage was able to put 7 point on the scoreboard just before half-time to close to within 14-7.
The second half saw South-Doyle come out with a barrage of stretch running plays designed to get Bruce outside. It worked on the first drive of the half as Bruce took off on another scoring jaunt down the home sideline. The ensuing kick-off saw the Heritage return man fumble the kick that Harley Wheeler recovered. Soon after, Rollins made a great play fake to Bruce and hit a wide open Jarquese Goines for six. The Cherokees defensive unit settled down to gain control of the game and finish off the 26-7 victory.
In addressing the team after the game, Coach Clark Duncan stated, “It wasn’t pretty, and we have some things we need to fix, but the most important thing is the final score.” Next up for the Cherokees is a visit to Jefferson County for a battle with the Patriots in the Inter Mountain Athletic Conference opener for both schools. Jefferson County opened their season with a 32-20 victory over the Central Bobcats. Game time on Friday, September 6th is 7:30 at Jefferson County High School.
The playing field at Billy K. Nicely Stadium is in the process of being painted, the stands have been pressure-washed, the Touchdown Club is preparing for concessions, and the football team is simply jacked up and ready to play! Kick-off is less than 48 hours away, and the Cherokee Nation is ready for some football.
The opening game of the 2013 football season is Friday night as the Heritage Mountaineers invade South Knoxville to take on the Kees. Game time is 7:30 PM. A large crowd is expected, so plan to arrive early and eat at the stadium. The South-Doyle Touchdown Club will have plenty of food options inside the gates of the stadium.
Heritage is looking to gain a measure of revenge after losing to the Cherokees in 2012. South-Doyle is hoping to build on back-to-back playoff appearances by getting the season started with a victory. Friday’s game is the opening game for both programs.
Come by the Touchdown Club concession stand for your copy of the 2013 South-Doyle High Football Media Guide. They are $10 and include profiles of senior players and coaches, as well as roster and individual photos of South-Doyle players. In addition, the Touchdown Club will have a new “We Are South-Doyle” t-shirt, along with new SD Football hats, and a few gray t-shirts.
We Are South-Doyle!