CHEROKEE 34, ROSWELL 29

Hornets let late lead slip away to Warriors

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CANTON, Ga. – Cherokee scored three touchdowns in the final eight minutes, including the game-winner with five seconds to play, to rally for a 34-29 victory last Friday night over Roswell.

The Hornets led 29-14 after a field goal early in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors scored touchdowns on their next three series to capture a key Region 5-AAAAAA win.

Mechane Slade scored three touchdowns in the second quarter for the Hornets (2-3, 4-4), whose last four games have been decided by a total of 12 points.

Roswell led 19-7 at the half, with Slade scoring on runs of 4, 49 and 29 yards. Two of the TDs followed punt team mistakes by the Warriors (3-2, 5-2). A 35-yard pass from James Whitaker to Reggie White made it 26-14 in the third quarter. White has taken over for Hunter Coleman, the team’s leading receiver until a recent injury.

“We couldn’t control the clock, and they’re so explosive,” Roswell coach John Ford said. “We had some opportunities to stop them, but we couldn’t.”

Ford said the last-second loss “was pretty disheartening, but we’ve got to bounce back. This team has character. I’m excited to see how they bounce back.”

The Hornets play at home Friday night against region co-leader Lassiter (4-1, 5-3), and must beat both the Trojans and longtime rival Walton the following week to have any chance of making the playoffs.