So close….. Elizabethton drops thriller to Science Hill in double overtime, 28-21

Published 11:36 pm Friday, August 26, 2016


One look into Elizabethton Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten’s face standing at midfield after Friday night’s opening game against Science Hill told the whole story.

Elizabethton playing at a state championship caliber gave Science Hill everything they had only to fall in double overtime to their neighbors from Johnson City by a 28-21 score in front of by far the largest crowd to watch the Cyclones play inside Citizens Bank Stadium.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Just speechless—what else do you say besides you love your kids,” said the emotional Witten after the contest. “When you put that kind of effort into it, all you can tell your kids is that you love them.”

Undoubtable one of the best football game in the series between the two schools, it was a rock’em-sock’em contest from the opening whistle.

The Cyclones bursted onto the scoreboard first in the first quarter, when Cyclone quarterback Carter Everett placed a perfect spiral into the waiting arms of wide receiver Conner Johnson for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

Dylan Nordby booted the point-after for a 7-0 Cyclone advantage with 7:04 left in the first quarter.

It wouldn’t take the Hilltoppers long to answer back as on the ensuing possession, shifty quarterback Jaylan Adams scooted into the end zone from eight yards out for the ‘Topper score.

Quinn Boyle knocked the PAT through the uprights to even the score at 7-7.

From that point, it turned into a defensive battle for the rest of the half as both teams applied punishment to their opponents as neither offense scored the rest of the half.

Adams was shaken up by a hard lick just before the half and didn’t return for the ‘Toppers.

Elizabethton regained the lead in the waning moments of the third quarter as Everett called his own number on a quarterback draw and scored on an 11-yard plunge.

Nordby cleared the uprights for a 14-7 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The ‘Toppers needed only one play in the opening moments of the fourth quarter to pull even as Ahmik Watterson took off on a 83-yard scoring romp and Boyle booted the point through making it 14-14.

Elizabethton went to work on a 12-play drive to once again sneak ahead 21-14 when Corey Russell broke into the end zone and Nordby was true on the PAT.

Once again the high-octane offense of Science Hill evened things quickly with 2:45 remaining in regulation when Watterson once again turned on the after burners on 65-yard scoring run.

The all-important PAT was initially blocked but the officials called running into the kicker and Boyle made the second attempt on the PAT to make the score 21-all.

Elizabethton had a chance to win with five seconds remaining, but Science Hill blasted through the middle of the line and blocked Nordby’s 29-yard field attempt.

In the first overtime, neither team could add a score to the scoreboard forcing a second overtime.

The ‘Toppers got the ball first and capitalized when Jake Blankenship hit Tate Overbay for a 15-yard strike in the corner.

Boyle converted and the Cyclones had one last gasp.

Unfortunately, on the first play from scrimmage, Everett was picked off to end the contest.

“We will learn from it and move on and hopefully 10 to 12 weeks we can look back and see how close we were,” said Witten. “At times we showed we were the better football team. We just didn’t capitalize when we got up.

“You feel sorry for the seniors. But, I love my kids and I love my coaches.”

Elizabethton (1-0) travels to take on Johnson County next week in Mountain City.


Science Hill, 28-21 2 OTs

Science Hill….. 7   0   0  14   0   7— 28

Elizabethton… 7   0    7   7    0   0— 21