SEYMOUR — Consistency.
That was the message that Seymour head coach Scott Gaylon had for his team on Thursday night after falling to Sevier County 28-16.
The Eagles’ inability to put together a consistent drive cost them early and often, and Sevier County took advantage by scoring 21 second half points. “We’re good enough to make plays, and we make plays for five or six snaps, but then we’ll go backwards the next two snaps,” Gaylon said. “Or, we’ll make two or three plays on defense but then we’ll get gashed on two or three plays. We just have to be consistent on every down. And we have to be stronger.”
Both teams were looking for their first district win as the game turned into a defense battle in the first half. Seymour gained 76 yards in the first half compared to Sevier County’s 135.
Seymour was first on the board with a 30-yard field goal after getting good field position, starting on the Sevier County 44-yard line. The Eagles had a chance to put seven on the board after they moved the ball all the way to the 8 on an 18-yard screen pass from Grayson Campbell to Brendon Harris, but they went backwards and were forced to settle for the field goal.
“It was early in the game so we wanted to take points but couldn’t get six,” Gaylon said. “We also had at least two 4th-and-1’s that we couldn’t convert, and that is unacceptable.”
The Seymour defense picked up the offense for the most part in the first half by keeping the Smoky Bears out of the end zone for almost the whole half. The Eagles’ defense grew tired at the end of the half, though, and Sevier County took advantage with a 7-play, 58-yard drive that consisted of all run plays.
The defense for Seymour broke down in the second half as the Smoky Bears gashed the Eagles on the ground. The Eagles defense had a chance early in the second half to get the ball back inside the Sevier County 10-yard-line but a penalty negated a fumble and gave the ball back to Sevier County.
“We’ve got that fumble inside their 10, but because a player loafs to get off the field, it costs us a turnover,” Gaylon said. “That was one of the only fumble recoveries we’ve made all year. It just goes back to their want to.”
Offensively, the Eagles gave themselves a chance in the third quarter. A 13-yard touchdown run by Harris cut the lead to 14-9.
Down 28-9, Seymour had one last chance at a comeback. The Eagles quickly moved the ball down the field with under four minutes left and scored on Campbell’s 19-yard pass to Jeremiah Cataline. Seymour will be back in action on Oct. 19 when it goes on the road to take on Karns. That game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and serves as another opportunity for Seymour to win its first region game.
“My biggest concern is that our guys haven’t had success here in a while so losing doesn’t matter anymore,” Gaylon said. “I hate it (losing), and I hope our guys hate it, too. We just have to keep practicing, keep practicing seriously and get ready to go.”