SARDIS CITY — Missed opportunities and Tyren Dupree were Sardis’ undoing.

The Lions’ season came to an end in the first round of the Class 4A state high school football playoffs with a 21-14 loss to Cherokee County on Friday.

The final chance for Sardis came late in the game. Tristen Holcomb covered a fumble for Sardis at its own 43 with 3:18 left and the Warriors trying to run out the clock. The Lions moved into Cherokee County territory, but Dupree made a leaping interception of a Logan Gaskin pass at the Warrior 14 with :48 left to seal the win.

Sardis also started two first-half drives in Cherokee County territory but got no points out of either possession. The Lions did lead 7-0 with :42 left in the first quarter after a 31-yard touchdown pass from Gaskin to Chase Bright. Kendrick Fife tied it for Cherokee County on a 5-yard run with 3:20 left in the first half. Dupree had two third-quarter scoring runs, of 10 and 18 yards, to stake the Warriors to a 21-7 edge. Sardis cut it to a seven-point deficit with 9:03 left in the game on a 1-yard plunge by Gaskin.

 

Star of the Night

Dupree completed just 1-of-5 passes for 9 yards in the game, but he more than made up for it with his legs and his late pick. The senior rushed 22 times for 166 yards and the two key second-half touchdowns.

 

Play of the Game

Dupree’s pick of Gaskin gets the nod, because without it, the Lions may have been able to drive down for the game-tying score.

 

Coachspeak

“We had some opportunities, we just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. The first half was probably the key to the game. We had two drives start on their side. I feel like we should have we should have been up more than we were in the first half. But you go back to being 0-2 (Sardis’ start to the season), and it could go downhill, but this bunch steps it up, win seven out of the last eight. This one game doesn’t define the season.

“We knew going into the game that No. 4 (Dupree) was a great athlete, and he took over.” — Sardis coach Gene Hill

 

Stat Sheet

Gaskin finished 9-of-24 passing for 130 yards with a score and two picks. He also rushed 14 times for 66 yards. … Temon Wilson led the Lions on the ground with 73 yards on 17 carries. … Sardis gained 189 first-half yards but had just 91 in the second half. … Cherokee County finished with 296 yards, 186 in the final two quarters. … Fife rushed 14 times for 110 yards for the Warriors.

 

Up Next

Cherokee County (5-6) faces Wilson next week in the second round.

Sardis ends the year with a 7-4 record.