FOOTBALL: Hattaway rushes for 299 yards, 4 TDs as Sequoyah routs Sperry for first playoff win since 2016

Nov. 13—SEQUOYAH — Logan Hattaway would've loved to have one more carry, but he was grateful for what he got.

The Sequoyah senior running back ran rampant through the Sperry defense, accumulating 299 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 26 carries as the No. 6 Eagles raced to a 48-15 victory over Sperry in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs Friday night at the Pope Athletic Complex.

When asked how he felt about getting so close to 300 yards without reaching that magic number, Hattaway had no regrets. Instead, he focused on praising those around him.

"It wouldn't have been possible without the line," Hattaway said. "They did a great job. They created gaps that I could go through, and I just have to give the biggest shoutout to the linemen tonight; they did a great job tonight."

Hattaway started with an impressive first-half performance of 108 yards and a score on 12 carries — 9 yards per carry — but he was only getting started.

He carried the ball three times for 42 yards on Sequoyah's first drive of the second half, busting runs of 11 and 10 yards before capping the series with a 21-yard touchdown scamper to increase the lead to 27-7 with 9:37 remaining in the third quarter.

Incredibly, only three of his 14 carries in the second half went less than 10 yards, but two of those "shorter" runs were touchdowns of 7 and 5 yards.

Hattaway totaled 191 of his 299 yards in the second half, averaging a whopping 13.6 yards per carry during that stretch. His final rush went for a gain of 18 yards to the Pirates' 14-yard line, and quarterback Landon Gilbreath ran for 13 more the next play before sneaking into the end zone from a yard out at the 3:42 mark of the fourth.

Gilbreath, who finished with 62 yards rushing on eight carries while completing 3 of 4 throws for 69 yards and a touchdown, didn't attempt a pass in the second half, but he didn't need to, either. The Eagles managed 578 yards of offense, 509 of which came on the ground at 11.1 ypc.

Gilbreath's first pass of the night didn't come until the opening play of the second quarter, but it resulted in a 32-yard pass to Dylan Burks and gave Sequoyah a permanent lead at 13-7 only 16 seconds into the frame.

Burks notched the team's first touchdown as well, taking his opening carry 42 yards to the end zone on a reverse play at the 6:30 mark of the first quarter.

He also returned an onside-kick recovery 33 yards for a touchdown moments after Hattaway's 21-yard scoring tote in the third, but the officials correctly nullified the score because the receiving team didn't first touch or possess the ball.

Elsewhere, Dylan Piguet ran for 81 yards on six carries, and Karson Bickle snagged two receptions for 37 yards.

Sequoyah (10-1) outgained Sperry 267-200 in the first half on the way to a 21-7 halftime lead, and thanks to Hattaway, it increased the differential in the second half by racking up 311 yards to the Pirates' 103.

"We went (into the locker room at halftime), and the coaches said, 'Y'all are feeling good, but that's not good enough. Y'all need to go out there and kick some butt,'" Hattaway said. "And that's what we came out and did. The line did their job, we ran the ball and that's just the way it was. The coaches did a good job of telling us what to do."

Brady Benham led the Pirates (6-5) from behind center, scoring on runs of 4 and 2 yards to finish with 79 yards rushing on 26 carries while also throwing for 134 yards on 12-of-20 passing.

For the Eagles, the occasion marked the program's first playoff win since 2016, which is also the last time it hosted a postseason game.

Sequoyah now looks to advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time in 10 years when it visits No. 5 Eufaula in a battle of 10-win teams. The Ironheads, who won District 2A-6, avoided a first-round upset against unranked Henryetta with a 14-12 victory Friday night.

"Through (the bad years), we were always bummed out because everybody always put us last," said Hattaway, who endured an 0-10 season his freshman year in 2019. "They never gave us any credit, and this year we came out and played the game we know we can play.

"Coming out and winning this game feels so great, and I'm thankful for the team I have and the coaches I have; it's just a great community."