Overlooked but not forgotten… Elizabethton, Greeneville contest provided behind the game factors

Published 8:18 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

Just a few days removed from one of the biggest games played to date not only locally but statewide between Greeneville and Elizabethton, there’s still is a lot of buzz about the game as there should be.

The state’s No. 1Green Devils had only given up a touchdown to Pisgah, North Carolina, but by the time the dust had settled, the 3rd ranked Cyclones had put up three scores against what was presumably a defense that couldn’t be scored on with the final reading 35-20.

Like many other games that can only have the surface scratched when it comes to deadline writing, there were some highlights that need to be revisited—especially if these two teams have a rematch in five weeks in the third round of the playoffs.

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What makes


so Devilish

It didn’t take long to see why Greeneville seems to carry the bad boy on the block subtitle as the Green Devils have a way of working their way into their opponents’ head through attempts of intimidation whether it is verbal or physical often standing over their opponent after a hit in an almost taunting fashion.

It is obvious that any team that wants to hand the Devils a loss will have to almost develop a wrestler’s mentality—preferably the one of Stone Cold Steve Austin from WWE fame.

The Cyclones allowed themselves at times to be caught up what the Green Devils were doing, and as a result were flagged at times they might have been able to stop a drive.

Should there be a rematch, the Cyclones will have to be able to work through this type of antics and let their play on the field force the Green Devils into losing their cool.

Showing resolve under the toughest of situations

The Cyclones if nothing else showed that they weren’t overwhelmed by the game-time hype especially playing in front of a crowd much like one at the state championship level with somewhere around 6,000 fans in attendance and many watching on television.

With the ability to move the football through the air, the Cyclones showed the way to other teams that may be facing the Green Devils where their weak point may exist as Elizabethton accounted for 279 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Greeneville couldn’t account for Corey Russell, Bryson Rollins, Parker Hughes, and Evan Perkins as the receivers managed to find the openings needed to haul in key receptions.

Also, Austin Outland didn’t see the ball until late in the game from the running back position but had some key runs that kept the ball moving.

Was there a lack of equality?

A sportswriter should try to keep the officiating out of the equation of their writing, but sometimes one has to call it black if it is black.

There were several calls that weren’t flagged for the Cyclones that could have been a difference maker including a couple of pass interference calls that were obvious as well as a ton of false start and holding penalties that had the Cyclone coaching staff pulling their hair out.

Even when flags were thrown, there wasn’t enough punishment behind them such as the helmet-to-helmet hit on Evan Perkins on a reception where the helmet-to-helmet was called but the player wasn’t ejected when he should have been.

There was also a couple of penalties that were called on the coaching staff that were in bad judgment as the officials allowed the game to slip out of their grip at times.

One proud coach

Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten gave one of the most inspiring post-game speeches in his tenure at the helm of the Cyclones as he encouraged his team to hold their heads high as they had fought like lions and didn’t want to see no heads hanging or tears flowing.

He also encouraged the seniors to pray for an opportunity to get the rematch in the third round as they didn’t achieve that last season, but doesn’t want his team to miss it this season.

Lastly, he told his teams that he couldn’t be any prouder of any team in his last 11 and a half years as the head coach as he was of this year’s squad.

One can only imagine how a second showdown between the two would play out. The coaching staff had the team ready, and with a few tweaks, the outcome could very well be different.

Who knows but there could be 10,000 fans at the next battle.

Time will tell, but don’t be surprised to see Cyclones-Green Devils Part 2.