KNOXVILLE —- Friday’s South-Doyle playoff victory was sponsored by the number two.
No. 2, Elijah Young, that is.
The University of Missouri commit introduced himself to Cherokee Friday night and ran all over the Chiefs.
Young rushed 11 times for 231 yards and four touchdowns to pace the host Cherokees to a 41-3 victory over visiting Cherokee in the first round of the TSSAA Class 5A Playoffs.
With the win, the Cherokees will host Daniel Boone next Friday at the Tribal Grounds.
The Chiefs had their opportunities to slow S-D early. Cherokee’s first drive resulted in three first downs, but it stalled out on three incomplete passes by Collin Trent.
After two gainers by South-Doyle, a fumble recovered by Cherokee’s Trent Price put the visitors back into business. However the drive stalled.
It took only three plays for the Cherokees to dent the scoreboard. Terrell Brown caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Nick Martin to put the home team up 7-0.
After a three-and-out by Cherokee, South-Doyle sought to drive the ball downfield again. On first and 10 from the Chiefs’ 43, Martin threw a pick to Will Price, which set Cherokee up for its most successful drive of the night. The Chiefs drove from the South-Doyle 43 to the 18 when Peter Egbert scored what turned out to be the final points of the season for Cherokee on a 29-yard field goal.
From there, it was all Young.
Young ran the ensuing kickoff back for a score before a block in the back nullified it. Young ran for 22 yards on the drive, including the final three with 7:34 left in the first half and a 13-3 S-D lead.
Young found himself in the end zone again with 39 seconds left in the half, racing 75 yards for a touchdown and effectively putting the game out of reach.
He called his own number just 14 seconds into the third quarter, this time on a 53-yard run and a 27-3 lead. Young found the end zone again six minutes later on a 57-yard run.
South-Doyle closed out the scoring with Martin faking the ball to Young, then scampering in from two yards away for a 41-3 lead and a rolling clock the rest of the game.
After winning its first three league games, Cherokee qualified for the playoffs for the first time in four years. A tough stretch of games against Elizabethton, David Crockett, Tennessee High and Daniel Boone battered the Cherokee defense, but the team played hard in spite of its injuries.
Collin Trent finished his Cherokee career 8 of 23 passing for 100 yards and one interception in the loss.