Going across the mountain… Elizabethton makes bus ride to take on Erwin, NC in scrimmage

Published 6:00 am Thursday, August 15, 2019



For many fans across Northeast Tennessee, the high school football season is becoming highly anticipated as it is only a week and a half away. With that being said, Elizabethton football fans were able to catch another glimpse of their team as they traveled to Clyde A. Erwin High School in Asheville, North Carolina on Tuesday evening. In an interstate matchup, the Cyclones came out as fired up as they always are under the direction of head coach Shawn Witten. With this being a very even matchup between two reasonably large schools only an hour away from each other, Elizabethton came out firing on both sides of the ball showing just what they are capable of this season. As the away team ‘Betsy was gifted the ball first. As they always do, the Cyclones struck quickly gaining fifteen yards on a pass from Bryson Rollins to Parker Hughes on the first play. Soon after, the Cyclones starters for the first drive made the same connection taking the ball to the midfield stripe. Marching down the field, Elizabethton kept the momentum as a long pass to senior Zach Hartley was incomplete as a result of defensive pass interference. In striking position, Rollins then hit receiver Jake Roberts to take the ball to the five-yard line which led to an untouched rushing touchdown by Junior Deuce Morton. In a scrimmage that was set up as if it were an official game, Betsy kicked off giving the Erwin High School Warriors a chance to match their score. The Cyclone defense kept the intensity as senior Carson Stresseman wrapped up the Erwin quarterback for a loss of two. Morton kept it going by stuffing a rush for no gain then breaking up a pass which would eventually lead to a turnover on downs. Going strong, Rollins and Elizabethton came back out looking to score again. It seemed as if there was nothing they could do on this drive as the Cyclone running game was thwarted. Just when things seemed to break big for Betsy a thirty-yard pass reception from Cade Maupin was brought back by a costly holding penalty which forced the Cyclones to punt.  With Erwin back in possession, the Elizabethton defense kept the fight going with sophomore Trenton Taylor breaking up a screen pass that could have been taken back for a pick-six. However, the Erwin offense seemed to find their groove with two consecutive plays going for twenty yards or more. The Warriors marched the ball down the field at a slow and steady pace that was eventually capped off by a four-yard touchdown by running back Keavon Carson. Unhappy with their previous drive, Betsy came out looking to build off of their short possession the previous time. Ladarian Avery got his chance during the drive starting his stat line with a six-yard rush with major contributions by the Elizabethton offensive line. The drive was cut short however when a screen pass on third down was sniffed out by the team from North Carolina. With Erwin back in control of the ball, Carson took the ball once again carrying it for twenty-three yards. A thirty-five-yard touchdown rush immediately followed the carry by wide receiver Mikey Gettman. With the Cyclones now looking to match the home team’s score, Rollins took the ball himself to start the drive for a twenty-yard run. Keeping it rolling, Rollins weaved through defenders to get thirty-two more yards which set Betsy up for a twenty two-yard touchdown run by senior Cameron Trimm.  As the time left in the scrimmage began to wind down, Erwin took over once again. With three big gains and the warriors on the opposing thirty-nine, senior defensive lineman Joseph Kechter stopped the momentum with a tackle that resulted in a loss of five yards. The Elizabethton defense made themselves known once again with two consecutive pass breakups including a hit on the quarterback by Jordan Haynes which forced the ball to go about three feet. The game clock struck zero ending the unofficial contest and an impressive outing by the boys from Elizabethton. When asked about his team’s performance, Witten said, “Well this was a team that’s got a lot of speed, they’re wide open on offense which was good for us to see defensively. “Tonight was full of game-like situations which helps because we need to know where we stand after four quarters of football. “We’re nine or ten days away and it’s gonna take a complete effort from everybody.”  Only a week after their first scrimmage at DB the Cyclones are finally getting into the groove. Witten expounded by saying, “We’ve got two scrimmages this week so we didn’t want to go too long today. “We wanted to see the speed and the spread offense like the one we’re going to see against Science Hill. “It also helped a ton that it was game-like situations with down and distance and things of that nature.” The Cyclones are only a week and a half away from their much-anticipated rivalry game against Science Hill on August 23rd. But before that big game, Elizabethton will be back in action ready to go at it once again Thursday night for a home scrimmage against a talented Union, Virginia team.

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