WEATHERFORD — It was a classic setting for a state championship game: two unbeaten teams and two of the last three champions battling for the Class C title at Milam Stadium.
Tanner Ducotey and the Cherokee Chiefs capped a perfect season by defeating Tipton 38-14, halting the Tigers' bid for back-to-back state championships. Ducotey rushed for 275 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Tanner Bowman went for 112 yards and three scores to propel the Chiefs to their second championship in four seasons.
Ducotey and Bowman set the pace early, carrying the ball 10 times on the Chiefs' opening drive as Cherokee went 67 yards in 12 plays to take the early 8-0 lead after Bowman's first score of the night, a 1-yard run. Bowman struck again on the second drive, this time from 19 yards out, allowing the Chiefs to take a 16-0 lead after one quarter.
Ducotey broke a 37-yard touchdown run with 4:12 to play in the second quarter, but Jagger Jones took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to pull Tipton to within a margin of 24-6 at the break. Tipton got their other score early on the first play of the fourth quarter as Antonio Leyja barreled into the end zone from one yard out to cap off an eight-play, 62-yard drive.