Jr. ‘Landers drop sectional championship to Nolichucky

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Cloudland Elementary Jr. Highlanders gained control early during Tuesday’s Tennessee Area 1 Class A Sectional championship against Nolichucky in Roan Mountain.
However, a 59-yard touchdown pass from Blazers Luke Myers to teammate Clint Lamb late in the second quarter quickly flipped the momentum as Nolichucky pushed out to a 20-6 win and a sectional title.
Despite the loss, Jr. Highlanders coach Jason Potter said he was proud of how the ‘Landers competed Tuesday night and all season long.
“I am tickled to death with the effort,” said Potter. “We had good kids that came to every practice. They wanted to play hard. These kids have stuck with it, and we beat some teams that were probably better than us. We are happy to be where we ended up.”
The first quarter went scoreless as both defenses made stops. At the 4:16 mark of the second quarter, after runs by Cloudland’s Seth Birchfield pushed the Jr. ‘Landers to the Nolichucky 15, Highlander quarterback Chase Shell connected with Birchfield on a 15-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed, and Cloudland held a 6-0 lead.
Myers’ 59-yard TD toss to Lamb in the second sent the teams to the locker rooms tied at 6-6.
At the beginning of the first half, it seemed the Jr. Landers were going pick up a crucial stop as the Blazers faced a third-and-long on their own 49. Myers, however, threw a bomb to teammate Caleb Robinson which was tipped up before Robinson pulled it in and scored on a 51-yard play. The touchdown moved Nolichucky ahead 12-6 with 5:09 left in the third.
The Blazers scored one last time on a 41-yard pass from Myers to Robinson at the 11-seconds mark in the third. Myers kept the 2-point conversion into the end zone.

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