(MCT) SETH — Sissonville’s first drive on Friday ended in an interception after three plays, but its defense gave its offense a second chance to set the tone and it hit the ground running, both literally and figuratively.
Sissonville found the end zone on its remaining six drives of the first half spearheaded by a running game that accumulated 322 yards as the Class AA No. 7 Indians steamrolled to a 49-12 win on a cold senior night at Class A Sherman.
It was a milestone night for Indians senior Dominic Walker who went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season on his second carry of the game, a 60-yard touchdown scamper that kick-started the Sissonville offense.
There was little in the way of resistance for the Indians the rest of the way.
“That was our goal to have a good week of practice, which we have, and maintain our focus,” Indians coach Eddie Smolder said. “Our kids got themselves physically ready to play this week and mentally they were ready to go as well. I’m truly proud of our effort, our mental focus and just our togetherness as a team. We put together four quarters and it was great we got the young kids in there to play.”
Sissonville (7-1) displayed the type of balance that would make any coach happy.
Walker led all rushers with 112 yards on eight carries, followed closely by Jared Wilkinson with 111 yards on nine rushes. Quarterback Nathan Miller chipped in 115 yards on 7 of 11 passing and 47 rushing yards on just a pair of totes.
Wilkinson scored from 9 yards out for the second score of the game and Miller took a scramble 46 yards to the end zone to put the Indians up 20-0 early in the second quarter.
But the Indians were far from done as Walker added a rushing touchdown from 23 yards, Austin Burford got into the act with a 9-yard scoring carry, and Miller hit Josh Landis on a 50-yard scoring throw all before halftime, giving the Indians a commanding 42-0 lead at the break.
Sissonville’s starting offense played just one possession in the second half, capped by a 6-yard pass from Miller to Houston Hill, and with a 49-0 advantage Smolder finally called off the dogs.
With a seventh win, the Indians all but locked up a playoff spot, accomplishing a goal last year’s team came heartbreakingly short of after dropping its season finale to Braxton County at Laidley Field.
It seems that some of the bad taste that has stuck with the Indians over an entire off-season is being remedied with each passing week and win.
“We set a goal to make the playoffs, gave them a few weeks off and after that, we put our goal in place and went to work in the weight room,” Smolder said. “Our kids are hungry, they’re relentless right now, and they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s a good feeling. There’s a lot of 9-1 teams out there and 8-2, so we’re going to act like we’re 0-0 and approach these last two games like they’re our last ones.”
While Sissonville’s offense was rolling against the Tide (2-7), the Indians defense was doing a number as well, limiting Sherman to just 108 yards rushing on 38 carries and holding quarterbacks Bailey Kirk and Jacob Stewart to a combined 4 for 18 passing for 28 yards.
The Tide’s roster has just three seniors on it with freshmen and sophomores carrying much of the load.
Coach J.D. Fairchild said his team has a long way to go but the future is bright in Seth.
“We’re young and taking a program over and it has been pretty tough just trying to get everything on track,” Fairchild said. “We’ve played a lot of double-As and some good single-As, so it has been tough.
“They hadn’t been playing JV here and we got some JV in [this year]. We lift hard, we’ve refurbished the weight room and we’re getting after it, so hopefully better things to come.”
Sophomore Kyle Davis led the Tide with 70 yards on a grueling 20 rushes. Jordan Thompson and John Pauley each had a rushing touchdown from 1 and 9 yards out, respectively, for the Tide.
Landis led all receivers with 67 yards on three receptions and Hill caught three balls for 43 yards for Sissonville.
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