T.A. Dugger closes out play at Brown-Childress

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Star Photo/Ivan Sanders A trio of Jr. Cyclones scamble for a loose football. The fumble was recovered by  TAD's KC Vicchio.

Star Photo/Ivan Sanders
A trio of Jr. Cyclones scamble for a loose football. The fumble was recovered by TAD’s KC Vicchio.

Many Cyclones have tasted the grass and dirt playing football at Brown-Childress Stadium, and Monday evening the last group to have that opportunity as a school team brought a fitting closure and one last hoorah.
After stalling out in the first half in taking a slim 10-0 halftime advantage, theT.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones came out of the break a different team to steamroll the visiting Unicoi County Jr. Blue Devils 37-0.
It was a fitting end to a storied stadium that has seen its share of huge victories and narrow defeats for many Cyclone football players and coaches.
“It was a bittersweet night,” Jr. Cyclone head coach Johnny Burleson said. “This is the last night we’ll be playing up here. There have been a lot of good memories on this field for a lot of people.”
Kade Hensley’s 27-yard field goal scored the only points early on as the Jr. Cyclones couldn’t get into a good flow.
The boys in black did manage to tack on a score 2 minutes, 27 seconds before halftime as Jordan Haynes lugged the pigskin 12 yards to the seven before Remington Tyree rumbled the final seven yards for the score.
Hensley’s point-after attempt cleared the uprights with ease to send the home team to the break up by the score of 10-0.
Whatever the coaches said at the half brought out a different team in the second half from both sides of the football.
Quarterback Jaxton Holly found his groove in the opening drive of the second half.
Holly connected on a big 30-yard completion to Zach H. Hartley to the Unicoi County 31-yard line.
After four straight rushes by a committee of Jr. Cyclones, Holly found his big target, Evan Carter, for a 19-yard touchdown to push the edge to 16-0 after a bobbled snap resulted in a failed point-after.
The Jr. Blue Devils offered a gift to the Jr. Cyclones on the ensuing possession as on the first play of the drive, Unicoi County coughed up the football with TAD jumping on the ball at the nine-yard line.
After two offensive plays failed to move the ball, Holly connected on his second touchdown pass of the night, hooking up on a nine-yard strike to Cammeron Trimm to extend the advantage to 23-0 after Hensley’s boot.
On the kick after the score, the Jr. Cyclones recovered their second straight fumble, this time at the Jr. Blue Devil 17-yard line, as an alert KC Vicchiocame up with the football.
Unicoi County didn’t have an answer for Tyree as the bruising runner rumbled through the interior of the defense on his way to a TAD score to flip the scoreboard to 30-0 as Hensley proved true once again.
The Jr. Cyclones collected their final score as another fumble that was recovered by Trimm at the Jr. Blue Devils’ 36 had Burleson’s team in great field position.
Jordan Haynes crashed across the goal line from 10 yards to record the final touchdown on Dave Rider Field for TAD.
Hensley blasted the PAT, and the Jr. Cyclones defense closed out the game by pitching a shutout.
“We struggled offensively in the first half,” Burleson said. “Our defense played very well.”
“Our offensive line did a great job pass blocking, and Holly threw the ball where the receivers could catch the ball,” he said. “I thought our tight ends had a couple of great catches.”
In the JV game, the Cyclones were also victorious, recording a 26-8 win to get the night started off on the right foot.
Deuce Morton had a big night carrying the ball offensively, while Bryson Rollins had a standout game on defense.

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