CENTRE – Cherokee County High School senior quarterback/defensive back Slade Alexander has been on a tear on the football field for the past couple of weeks. He was on his way to another big game on Friday night at home against Class 4A, Region 4 foe White Plains, but Alexander suffered an injury in the first quarter and did not finish the game.
Sophomore quarterback Cade Hopper filled in admirably for Alexander behind center. He completed 4-of-5 pass attempts for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Warriors’ 48-12 victory.
“Cade stepped up big,” Warrior coach Jacob Kelley said. “Slade is a dual threat guy, while Cade is more your pocket passer. He can make all the throws, but he’s just not the runner Slade is. It kind of changed the aspect (of the game) a little bit. When he goes into the game, we’ve got to throw the RPOs (run-pass option). We’ve got to work our run game.”
And work it the Warriors (3-1, 2-0) did.
Junior running back Damien Ramsey ran for 123 yards on 17 carries with two scores and senior running back Caleb Malone added 56 yards on nine totes.
Before he left Friday’s game, Alexander scored two early touchdowns on runs of 11 yards and a yard to give the Warriors a 13-0 advantage. He finished with 65 yards on eight carries.
“We were up 13-0 and he (Alexander) was on defense,” Kelley said. “He made a sack and just rolled that thing (ankle) up. You never know how it’s going to be, but if there’s anybody who’s going to go back in the game it’s going to be (number) 10.”
Kelley said Alexander is getting evaluated Saturday morning to determine the extent of the damage.
White Plains (2-3, 0-3) got on the scoreboard in the second quarter on Jaden Chatman’s 4-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, keeping the score at 13-6.
Hopper hit Malachi Horton on a 23-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter to push the Warrior lead 20-6, then Ramsey scored on a 1-yard run to give Cherokee County a 27-6 halftime advantage.
The Wildcats opened the third-quarter scoring on Chatman’s 15-yard touchdown toss to Brody Baker, making the score 27-12, but that would be as close as White Plains would come.
Cherokee County closed out the game with another Ramsey score (this one from 5 yards) and another Hopper touchdown pass to Whit Johnson covering 24 yards in the third quarter.
Johnson put the exclamation point on the game with his 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for the final.
Chatman led the Wildcats by completing 20-of-33 pass attempts for 251 yards and a touchdown. He also had a touchdown on the ground. Carson Tyree had seven catches for 94 yards. Quindarius Wilson snagged eight catches for 73 yards, and Baker had four receptions for 73 yards and a score. Walker Osteen added 103 yards on 17 carries.
Cherokee County was originally supposed to host Clarke County this coming Friday, but is now traveling to Armuchee, Ga., on Saturday. Kickoff for that game is 6 p.m. Central time.
Kelley said the change was made to assist Clarke County and its region schedule after Hurricane Sally.