Tough D

McMinn defenders close in on a Bradley runner during Saturday's Sequoyah Conference youth football game.

The McMinn County Hoppers (4-1) are looking to rally after their season’s first loss 16-0 Saturday at the hands of the Bradley Bears (5-0).

The Tribe defense held up strong, keeping the Bears out of the end zone for two quarters but would give up short field scores in the second half as they tired.

Morgan Bartel was the team’s leading tackler, recording five solos and one assist. Noah Dake, Waylon Collins and Clayton Tilley tallied four tackles each.

Collins also had four assists while Dake and Tilley added one assist each. Santiago Hurst finished with two solos.

In addition to Hurst’s tackles, he snagged his first interception of the season at the start of the second quarter to end the Bears’ drive. Colton Shumate, Mason Greene and Chandler McLemore added to the stat sheet with one tackle each. McLemore also registered one sack. Maddox Melton added three assists and Neyland Patterson added two assists.

The offense couldn’t get going all afternoon, with Hurst having the only notable stats with five carries for 38 yards.

The Cherokees are on the road this Saturday against the Tellico Bears (1-4).

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