Jr. Cyclone JV clinches Big 8 championship with 26-14 win

Published 12:04 am Saturday, October 6, 2018

It doesn’t matter if one is blood brothers or just a band of brothers with one goal, it can be said that a little brother wants to make sure that their feet fit firmly in the footprints of their bigger brothers.
Such was the case Thursday night at Citizens Bank Stadium when the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclone JV team completed a perfect run through the Big 8 Conference by topping off the season with a 26-14 win over the Vance Middle School JV Vikings.
Defensive effort carries the evening
Every time it appeared that Vance would make something happen offensively, it was the Jr. Cyclone defense that made sure to frustrate the Vikings effort.
TAD had three fumble recoveries and a pass interception to shut down at least four of the Viking drives.
Strong first half allows Jr. Cyclones breathing room
A strong first half allowed the home team to build a 26-6 advantage after the first 16 minutes and provide a little breathing room.
TAD built a 14-0 lead at the first stop as quarterback Gib Maupin found Luke Whaley on a 27-yard scoring toss with 1:30 left in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.
Jeriah Griffin’s 13-yard scoring run on the quarter’s final play and Whaley’s 2-point conversion completed the scoring.
After Vance scored to trim the lead to 14-6, Maupin went back to work and hooked up with Zeth Mullins on an 11-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-6 after a failed conversion.
TAD threw a real dagger into the Vikings sails when just before the half Maupin rolled out and hit Griffin for a 79-yard scoring pass with 34 seconds remaining.
The score made it 26-6 after the failed conversion.
Vikings make it interesting late
After a scoreless third quarter, the JV Vikings made it a little interesting scoring on a 63-yard run by Peyton Fields with Fields punching in the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 26-14.
The Jr. Cyclone defense rose to the occasion, however, and kept the Jr. Vikings out of the end zone the rest of the contest.
Smithdeal impressed with effort given
“It’s a very different team,” said Cyclone head coach Travis Smithdeal. “We don’t have the same speed as we do on varsity, but we hit, and we hustle and work hard—they work just as hard as the varsity and see the same results.
“Week in and week out we play teams that are bigger than us, but they don’t outwork us. It’s just a great testament to these kids.
“We coach them just as hard as we do the eighth graders and we expect the same intensity and the same results. This JV team is just a bunch of fighters.”

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