Cyclones pounce on Cougars early for 47-14 win

Published 11:23 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015



A lot of emotions filled the air way before the kickoff between Elizabethton and Northview Academy on Thursday night. 

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It was senior night and 10 Cyclone seniors took part in their final regular-season game at Citizens Bank Stadium.

The Cyclones fed off that emotion, blasting out of the gate like Marshal Dillon taking down a gang of outlaws. EHS took a convincing 47-14 win over the Cougars and finished out the regular season 9-1 overall.

“I am so proud of these guys the way they have played this year,” said a cold, water-drenched Shawn Witten, Cyclone head coach. “They have done everything we have asked them to do by coming out focused and putting up a lot of points early.

“I am most proud of how unselfish we are because they come out and play together as a team. These guys don’t know how much the coaches and I appreciate them.”

The first half could be described with two words—Hunter Tyree —as the senior signal caller came out and lit up the Cougars on the night finishing the contest 20-of-26 for 330 yards and three touchdowns.

Tyree found his groove early, on target to senior wide receiver Jalen Smith for a 16-yard scoring strike to give the Cyclones a 7-0 lead after Dylan Nordby converted the point-after attempt.

Northview couldn’t get much traction against the Cyclone defense and was forced to punt the ball back to Elizabethton.

The Cyclones put together an 11-play drive capped off by Tyree taking care of business from the one-yard line for a 14-0 ‘Betsy advantage after Nordby’s kick with 5:32 showing on the first-quarter clock.

Once again, the Cougars found the Cyclone defense tough and had to punt back after running only six plays.

As teams have learned all season, one can’t give Elizabethton an inch or they will take a mile.

The Cyclones started on its own 17-yard line and it only took nine snaps to find the end zone once again. Corey Russell scored from one yard out to stake the Cyclones to a 21-0 edge with Nordby’s PAT with 34 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Facing a fourth down on the ensuing drive, the Cougars elected to go for it, but senior Cyclone nose guard Scotty Oliver would have none of it as he stuffed the run and ended Northview’s drive.

The Cyclones put on a clinic after taking over on their own 30 and marching 70 yards. Tyree went to the airways again to find Conner Johnson for a 30-yard scoring strike to push the ‘Betsy lead to 28-0 on the Nordby point after.

Northview took over on its own 23-yard line on the kickoff but was only able to move to the 45-yard line where the drive stalled and the Cougars were stopped again on another fourth down.

Elizabethton took only three plays to turn the scoreboard over once again as Tyree hooked up with Alex Norwood on an 18-yard touchdown pass to push the Cyclones out front 34-0 as the kick was blocked.

The defense got into the act on the next possession as Cougars’ senior Drew Bowers stepped in front of a Justin Howard pass for a pick six covering 50 yards. That extended the ‘Betsy lead to 40-0 as the kick was wide left on the point after.

And that’s the way the half ended, with a 40-0 score.

The Cougars managed to get on the board at the 7:13 mark of the third quarter when Howard went deep on a 45-yard scoring pass to Haidan McGee.

Joshua Gomez booted the point-after and the scoreboard read 40-7 in favor of Elizabethton.

After a defensive stop by the Cougars, Howard connected for his second scoring strike of the contest, this time going to McGee once again covering 17 yards.

Gomez was true and the scoreboard read 40-14.

Elizabethton added one more score in the game, as Logan Norman dashed in from six yards out to make it 47-14 on Nordby’s kick with 3:52 to play in the game.

“Our guys did a great job tonight as everybody was making plays,” Tyree said after the contest. “We just want to take this momentum into the playoffs because if we execute like we did tonight, we can move the ball against anybody.”

Elizabethton will now wait to learn the winner of tonight’s McMinn Central and Scott game, to know who they will host next week at Citizen’s Bank Stadium.

That game will kick off at 7 p.m. and the costs of tickets are $8.