Cyclones fight valiantly before falling 35-20 to Greeneville

Published 12:34 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

GREENEVILLE— A game that has been circled on both teams’ calendars since pre-season practice played out before a crowd estimated close to 6,000 at Burley Stadium in Greeneville Friday night and before untold thousands on live television.

Fighting with the determination of a lion, the Elizabethton Cyclones proved that the host Green Devils were not as armor-proof as many had thought throughout the season as the Cyclones dented the Greeneville defense for three scores before falling 35-20.

Surprise, surprise, surprise

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Gomer Pyle would have been right at home at the contest with his trademark “Surprise, surprise, surprise” saying from the Andy Griffith Show as Elizabethton came out from the get-go ready to lay everything on the line from the first whistle to the last.

While many thought the Green Devils were going to run away with another big offensive output, the Cyclones had another thing in mind and responded in the first half after each Green Devil score to go to the locker room trailing by only eight, 21-13, after holding Greeneville out of the end zone as the half ended.

Losing their cool

At times, the Cyclones were their own worst enemy as often the officials would allow plays to go further than needed allowing for some extracurricular action to occur with flags flying against ‘Betsy on several plays.

The penalties helped to move the ball at critical points when the Cyclones were looking for an all-important stop to get the ball back.

Airing it out

The game plan was evident early on offensively for the Cyclones as Carter Everett and Corey Russell accounted for all three of the Elizabethton scores through the air.

Everett connected with Parker Hughes on a 72-yard hookup while Russell found Evan Perkins on a 6-yard scoring toss and then found Bryson Rollins for a 14-yard razor-sharp pass that made it a 28-20 game with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.

For the contest, Everett finished 20-of-30 for 259 yards and the score and one interception while Russell was 2-of-2 for 20 yards.

Russell also was on the receiving end of 10 of Everett’s passes covering 127 yards. Hughes finished with 3 catches for 91 yards.

The Cyclones finished with 18 first downs for the contest.

Witten proud of the answer to challenge

“It was just a great game, and we battled all the way through, you know,” said Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten. “We helped them in some situations with some penalties, but you have to love the effort of our guys because it was a big game to win our conference.

“I am just so proud of the guys and the effort they laid out here on the field. It was a tremendous effort by the orange and black.

“We have to go back to work and find a way to get better. We had some people step up tonight. We had some guys go out of the game tonight, and we fought our tails off.”

Fan response phenomenal

The call for fans to orange out and bring cow bells was clearly heard as a large contingent of Cyclone fans made the trip to Burley Stadium and cheered their Cyclones on from the opening kick to the final whistle.

The atmosphere was playoff caliber.

Coming next week

The Cyclones will continue to work toward the end of the regular season as they hit the road next week to take on the Sullivan South Rebels in Kingsport.