Escaping last week’s upset bid by Los Altos High School in the opening round of the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs may have been the easy part of the week for the Sequoia High School football team.
The second-seeded Cherokees held off a late comeback bid by Los Altos to win 20-13 on Friday and waited for Saturday’s game between No. 3 Leland and No. 6 Mount Pleasant to find out who their next opponent would be.
They had to wait a couple extra days as Saturday’s lightning storm postponed the game and moved it to Monday night, preventing Sequoia coach Rob Poulos from spending the weekend getting his game plan ready.
“It put us at a little bit of a disadvantage, but not a lot,” Poulos said Monday. “We’ve actually seen both of the teams this year so we [weren’t] going in blind.”
So when Poulos met with his players on Tuesday, it was the first time they knew who they were going to play, as Leland easily rolled past Mount Pleasant 52-6 on Monday night in San Jose. Poulos had said earlier on Monday that he really had no preference for who his Cherokees (10-0-1) would face in Saturday’s semifinal game at 7 p.m. at Sequoia, and that his team may actually gain a big advantage over Leland (8-3) from the delayed game.
“[Leland] will have less time to prepare for us and turn around and get recovered for our game,” Poulos said.
Poulos is also hoping the extra days to recover for his team will pay off as well.
“This time of the year, everyone is a little banged up,” Poulos said. “We are too, but no more than usual for this time of year.”
When Sequoia hosts Leland on Saturday, the Cherokees’ plan of attack on offense will not change from what it has been all year.
“We have always been a take-what-you-give-us offense,” Poulos said. “It turns out we’ve been running more than passing, but that’s been what the defenses have been giving us this year.”
Which means more of the same from last week when Sequoia has the ball, with quarterback James Beekley and running back Josh Lauese carrying the load. In last week’s win, the pair both scored rushing touchdowns. Beekley’s came on a 31-yard run — part of a 130-yard rushing effort for the game — and Lauese scored the opening touchdown of the game.
When the Cherokees are on defense or special teams, they are just as formidable — Sequoia’s third touchdown of the game was a 62-yard punt return — and the Cherokees knocked out Los Altos’ starting quarterback in the third quarter after delivering several hits and collecting two sacks.
A win on Saturday would move Sequoia into the championship game against the winner of No. 1 Wilcox and No. 5 Willow Glen on Dec. 4.
No. 2 Sequoia vs. No. 3 Leland