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GHSA First Round Playoffs: Chiefs defense looks to stymie Raiders Air-Raid attack

Scouting the Chiefs

The Sequoyah Chiefs are in the post season for the second straight season. The Chiefs last advanced past the first round in 2018 when they made a run to the quarterfinals. Sequoyah enters the game winners of their last three ballgames. Historically Sequoyah has been a run first team, but this season they are averaging 156.9 yards through the air and 122.9 yards per game on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Kolby Martin has thrown for 1,424 yards and 15-TDs on the season. Martin has targeted several receivers this season, but his top targets have been Jackson Hancock, Tyler Bell, Bretton Darling and running backs Ean Marria and Will Rajecki. Marria and Rajecki also lead the team in rushing as it has been running back by committee for Sequoyah this season. The Chiefs defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 23 times this year and the aforementioned Bretton Darling and Taiwo Ogundele continue to lead the team in total tackles, while Matthew Matz is the the team’s sack leader.

Scouting the Raiders

The Alpharetta Raiders are back in the postseason for the fourth consecutive season. The Raiders come into the playoffs losers of their last two games, but those losses were to the top two teams in Region-7; and two week’s ago, they gave themselves a shot to upset Blessed Trinity, the No. 2 side from their region. Through the first nine games of the season, Alpharetta is averaging 257 yards per game through the air and 107.1 yards per game on the ground. Sophomore Quarterback D.J. Bordeaux has had a fantastic sophomore campaign, throwing for 2,353 yards and 25-TDs in eight games this season. His top receivers have been Sean Wilson (51 receptions, 1,012 yards, 9-TDs) and tight end Ethan Barbour (39 receptions, 815 yards, 10-TDs). While the Raiders don’t run it much statistically speaking, sophomores Ayden Williams and Jrue Keeling have provided an effective combination at running back, gaining 764 yards and 5-TDs this season. Alpharetta’s defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 15 times this season and intercepted 17 passes. The aforementioned quarterback Bordeaux leads the secondary with 7 interceptions on the season.

Pundit's Pick

A win this Friday would propel Alpharetta to the second round of the playoffs for the second straight season. The Raiders offense will need to be crisp as Sequoyah’s secondary has caused problems for most team’s they’ve faced this season. Meanwhile, can Sequoyah’s offense make this game a little more physical and utilize their old staple of running the football to wear down Alpharetta? We believe the young Raiders will find a way to move the ball this week, but we like Sequoyah at home in a close ball game. Chiefs by 5.

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