ARMUCHEE, Ga. – Those who have written the Cherokee County Warriors off after they lost senior all-purpose football player Slade Alexander to an ankle injury last week may want to reconsider.
The Warriors traveled across the state line to take on Armuchee, Ga. on Saturday, and behind a balanced attack in all three phases of the game, came away with a 56-6 victory to improve to 5-1 on the season.
Making his first start of the season, sophomore quarterback Cade Hopper completed 8-of-9 pass attempts for 193 yards and threw touchdown passes to Connor Elrod, Whit Johnson and Caleb Malone. Johnson and Malachi Horton added punt returns for scores. Malone also ran for another score, and Damien Ramsey added two touchdowns on the ground in the rout.
Ramsey ran for 103 yards on just seven carries. Johnson finished with 201 all-purpose yards, including five catches for 132 yards and a touchdown and a 69-yard punt return for a score.
The Warriors were up 42-0 at halftime.
“We’ve got some tools in the bag,” Warrior coach Jacob Kelley said. “I think a lot of folks wrote us off because we lost Slade, but it’s like I told the team before the game. Slade’s not dead. He’s just hurt. We’re hurting too, but we’re not dead either. We’ve got other guys who are more than capable to step up. We might be more balanced than we’ve ever been just because of it. Sometimes when something happens to you, you become closer.”
Ramsey got the Warriors on the board first after Malachi Horton took the opening kickoff inside the Indian 20-yard line. Hopper later connected with Elrod on a touchdown pass in the back right corner of the end zone to put the Warriors in front 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Horton opened the second-quarter scoring with a punt return for a touchdown. Malone then took a screen pass for a score, and Hopper hit Johnson on a touchdown pass. Johnson capped the first-half scoring with his punt return for a score.
The second half was a running clock.
The Warriors, who have now won four in a row, travel to Munford on Thursday.