Cyclones win ugly over determined Boone, 14-6

Published 12:10 am Saturday, September 10, 2016


GRAY— Friday night’s high school football contest between Elizabethton and Daniel Boone was reminiscent of the old family station wagon that had been passed down between five brothers over 20 years—it was rusted around every fender and the paint job was horrible, but hey it was a car.

That was the takeaway anyhow from Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten in accessing the ugly game that his team managed to win with a lot of sluggish play from both sides as Elizabethton won the highly anticipated showdown 14-6 at Nathan Hale Stadium in Gray.

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“It was a tremendous effort by our defense that gave us opportunities for the offense time and time and time again,” said Witten after addressing his team at midfield. “We knocked Shelton out of the game in the first quarter and played a physical game on defense.

“Give hats to Boone, however, as they played a tremendous game facing some adversity when their leader went out. We didn’t do enough offensively, but a win is a win and our kids performed well at times as we put some effort together.”

The game just couldn’t get any footing in the opening quarter of play as both teams struggled and made a few mistakes when they had offensive possession.

Elizabethton finally made some noise early in the second quarter as the Cyclones stuffed a fake punt by Boone to get possession at the ‘Blazer 33 yard line.

After an offsetting penalty, sophomore Corey Russell put his team on the scoreboard by using his athleticism to take the ball to the house for a 33-yard score.

Placekicker Jaxton Holly shook the uprights on the extra point, but the ball careened through for a 7-0 Cyclone lead.

The Cyclones got a break with 1:21 left before halftime when defensive end Alex Norwood recovered a fumble by Mason Mounger on the Boone 37-yard line.

Elizabethton masterfully ran an eight-play drive which was capped off by quarterback Carter Everett tucking the football and racing in from nine yards out to extend the Cyclone advantage to 14-0 after Holly’s PAT.

The half ended with the same score as Elizabethton left Boone only three seconds after the score.

Boone got their fans back into the game to open the second half as they took the opening kickoff and set up possession at the Cyclone 42-yard line after a long return by Mouin Tannous.

Behind the hard running of freshman Charlie Cole, the ‘Blazers moved to the five with Cole account for 24-rushing yards.

Tannous finished what he started by jetting in from the five to cut the lead to 14-6 as the point-after attempt was foiled from the snap.

From that point, each team managed to move the ball, but there was never another offensive threat for a score as the contest worked to an end.

Norwood was proud of the effort that the Cyclones left on Ken Green Field in picking up the win.

“They played really hard against us on offense, and we rallied together like ‘Guys we have got to get this done’,” said Norwood who was a thorn in the flesh of the ‘Blazers most of the night. “We got it done, and I am so proud of the guys tonight for playing as hard as we did.”

“The turnovers we got gave the ball back to our offense and gave them the opportunity to get the touchdowns we needed to win the ball game tonight.”

Another solid anchor for the defensive unit was senior Johnny Ray Woodby who felt like Boone changed up things just a little from what they expected.

“They had some big boys and all week we have been practicing moving me and Cameron Coleman to them and then they started running to the weak side tonight,” Woodby said about the adjustments the Cyclone line had to make. “We fixed it and just kept on.

“It’s a win—we just have to practice harder. I went over to the offense and told them I had them and just to please get me a touchdown. They did what we needed them to do.”

Boone left everything they had on the field in the game—especially losing their starting quarterback to either a hand or arm injury early in the game.

“I thought our quarterback and running back being young did a good job getting on the edge,” said Jenkins. “We have to learn from this and just move on. I thought our kids played hard and we have Tennessee High next week in conference play, so we just need to play hard and see what happens.”

Elizabethton (2-1, 1-0) returns home next week for a league contest with Unicoi County.