Cyclones tame Tigers with big first half, 47-7

Published 2:26 pm Saturday, October 1, 2016


PIGEON FORGE— There probably hasn’t been a tamer to humble a group of Tigers as fast as Elizabethton did Friday night on Jim Whaley Field in Pigeon Forge as the Cyclones bolted out of the gates early and often to build a 40-0 halftime advantage and went on to win 47-7.
Even the longest ride to a conference contest for Elizabethton showed no wear on the Cyclones.
“It speaks volumes about our kids,” Elizabethton head coach Shawn Witten said about his squad’s performance. “The focus we wanted to have coming down here on a long trip and just being mentally prepared—we have made some strides over the last three weeks and maybe are peaking at the right time.
“Offensively we are starting to groove a little bit,” Witten added. “Jacob Turner at that inside slot position has really given us some balance. They were giving us some man to man, and we wanted to expose that early.”
Sophomore sensation Corey Russell took the opening kickoff at his own nine-yard line, and it was lights out from there as Russell covered 91 yards for the 7-0 lead on Dylan Nordby’s extra point with only 15 seconds off the game clock.
The Cyclone defense was then showcased and led by the defensive front as the Tigers pulled out every trick in the play book to try to score without much fanfare as the Cyclones blew up everything Pigeon Forge tried to do.
“Together as a unit, we all played together,” said defensive end Cameron Coleman. “Defensive wise, we had a big shutout game and this is what we wanted to come in and do.
“We thought it was going to be a little roller coaster for us to get past this season, but the offense showed up and we got our passing game in a groove, and we haven’t been able to do that much all year,” Coleman continued. “We were throwing the ball really well tonight and defensively we just shut them down.”
Meanwhile, the Cyclones were scoring at will as quarterback Carter Everett connected two times with senior wide receiver Conner Johnson on scoring tosses of five and 65 yards.
Everett wasn’t finished there as the sophomore signal caller found Jacob Turner on a 43-yard scoring pass to add to the Tigers woes.
Russell continued to amaze the Cyclone faithful as the speedster reeled off two more scoring runs of eight and 54 yards in the half—the second coming off a fake punt where Russell tip-toed his way down the Cyclone sideline to pay dirt.
Nordby added two more PAT’s and Jaxton Holly one to aid in building the Cyclone lead.
With the clock running non-stop in the second half, Elizabethton tacked on another score as Everett recorded his fourth passing score of the night—this time to Keelan Hall who outran the Tiger defense for the score.
“They had a good secondary, but we thought we could go underneath and things just started to open up deep with Conner so we just started to go over the top,” said Everett whose confidence continues to grow skyward for the Cyclones.
Pigeon Forge did manage to get a score on the board with 7:35 left in the game as Sammy Gonzalez blasted in from the one-yard line. Nicky Sisto split the uprights on the PAT.
Elizabethton (5-1, 3-0) now will get ready for its homecoming contest with Claiborne Co. next Friday night inside the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Stadium.
Pigeon Forge (1-5, 1-2) makes the trek up into the Tri-Cities as the Tigers will square off with Unicoi Co. in Erwin.
Elizabethton, 47-7
Elizabethton… 21 19 7 0—47
Pigeon Forge… 0 0 0 7— 7

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