Cyclones celebrate senior night with 51-13 win over Central

Published 12:29 am Friday, October 26, 2018

It was a special night at Citizens Bank Stadium Thursday evening as all fall athletes, band, and choral ensemble were recognized in the final regular season game for 2018.

While family members relished the memories of their seniors, the Elizabethton Cyclones took care of business to finish up their regular-season schedule with a 51-13 pasting of the Central Cougars and look ahead to the first round of the TSSAA playoffs next week.

The Cyclones came out with the haymaker in the first quarter as ‘Betsy put the ball into the end zone five times in the first 12 minutes of action.

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It took only one play for senior quarterback Carter Everett and senior wide receiver Evan Perkins to bring the fans to their feet with an electrifying 73-yard bomb staking the Cyclones to a 7-0 lead after Jaxton Holly’s point after.

After the Cyclones got the ball quickly from Central on the ensuing possession, senior running back Austin Outland bolted in from 2 yards out to extend the lead to 14-0 on Holly’s PAT.

Central had no answers as Perkins plucked a Central pass out of the air and raced 33 yards on a pick six. Senior Gavin Lowe burst in for the two-point conversion making it 22-0 with 7:47 still left in the quarter.

Less than 2 minutes later, Outland cashed in on his second score of the quarter this time zooming through the Cougar defense and then into open field for a 54-yard rushing touchdown.

Senior defensive lineman Jared Grindstaff had his number called on the two-point conversion and the Cyclones lead ballooned to 30-0.

Senior Corey Russell was determined not to be left out of the fun as the senior took off like a gazelle on a 72-yard run to push the advantage to 37-0 on Holly’s third PAT of the quarter.

The Cyclones added a second-quarter, one-yard plunge from senior offensive lineman Clay Gwinn as the Cyclones allowed some of their lineman in on the senior night fun.

“It’s been a tradition to give some of the offensive lineman a chance to score a touchdown, and I was fortunate enough to be able to get one tonight,” Gwinn said of the score. “We have been able to do pretty good and have just took it game by game and enjoy the moment of being a senior and relish it while it lasts.”

Holly punched the PAT through after the score and the scoreboard read 44-0.

With a running clock in the second half, freshman Bryson Rollins jumped into the middle of the senior night antics with a 10-yard run to close out the Cyclone scoring on Holly’s point after.

Central scored a couple of times late having some fun of their own as one of the scores came from senior offensive lineman Gavin Rupe—a behemoth player standing 6’8 and weighing 395 pounds.

“What a way to cap off a night at 9-1 and the guys have done everything that we have asked them to do,” said Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten. “We have really played well in the big football games and have accepted every challenge that we have faced.

“Tonight was about 17 seniors. We have a lot of guys that have played a lot of games. We have some offensive linemen that have waited their turn and we feel like we are playing really good football.”

The Cyclones host a first-round playoff game next Friday night at Citizens Bank Stadium at 7 pm against the winner of the Chattanooga Central and Howard game being played tonight in Chattanooga.