Cyclones JV falls short going for a sweep of Hilltoppers

Published 1:49 am Wednesday, August 28, 2019

JOHNSON CITY – With week one of varsity football down it is now time for the JV squads to get a taste.
After a thrilling 28-20 victory for the Elizabethton Cyclones on Friday night against the Science Hill Hilltoppers at Kermit Tipton Stadium, the Junior Varsity squads of the respective teams got things underway Monday night.
The Cyclones were able to start things early after a few nice rushing plays by Dalton Mitchell and Cade Russell and some costly mental mistakes from the ‘Toppers. 
But the momentum was shifted after a gang of ‘Toppers sacked Mitchell which led to a punt.
On the ensuing Science Hill drive running back AJ Martin took the ball fifteen yards for a first down at midfield. On a run-heavy drive, the possession was capped off by an eight-yard Martin rushing touchdown.
Looking to even the game the Cyclones took over once again at the 20-yard line. But things seemed to look bleak after two straight losses until Mitchell dumped it to freshman Nate Stephens for twelve yards and a first down at their own 45. 
But once again the Cyclones came up empty-handed as things weren’t going their way.
On the following ‘Topper drive, the Cyclone defense stepped up after Sam Fletcher sniffed out a screen pass resulting in a fourth and long. 
But bad luck just continued for Elizabethton as on a great punt return by Russell the ball was popped loose resulting in a Johnson City football. 
On a drive where it seemed as if Science Hill wasn’t going to be stopped a would-be touchdown pass was deflected by defensive back Isaiah King to prevent a touchdown.
Soon after, the ‘Toppers would cough the ball up themselves which would be recovered by Fletcher.
Mitchell then found his receiver Stephens for a huge gain that was followed by a completion to Russell who trucked the defender putting the Cyclones in the red zone. 
But Elizabethton came up just short making it a 7-0 ball game at halftime. 
To start off the final half, Fletcher shifted the momentum with a sack for a loss of five yards. But on a display of power, tight end Ben O’Daniel carried a group of defenders across the goal line to make it a two-score game.
Yet again the Cyclones offense came up empty-handed as they were forced to punt after only a few plays. With SH once again in control things were not working for the Toppers as they were also forced to punt.
On the next Cyclone drive, Mitchell hit Tyler Thompson for a gain of 22-yards which would be followed by a 28-yard screen pass touchdown to the elusive Russell making it a six-point game 13-7.
Needing a stop more than ever, the Cyclones showed their power with another sack this time by Caleb Johnson which gave Elizabethton the stop they needed.
On a drive where a touchdown was mandatory for the Cyclones, Thompson made a clutch grab to bring Elizabethton to midfield. 
But things kept getting worse for Elizabethton after the ball was stripped and recovered by the ‘Topper defense to see the end of the game…or everyone thought. 
As the Toppers were trying to run the clock out, a bad snap led to a fight for the fumble resulting in Cyclone ball at midfield. 
With a penalty and a huge gain by Russell Elizabethton was set up on the edge of the red zone. But on fourth down Mitchell was sacked to ultimately seal the ball game.
After this heartbreaking loss, the Cyclones JV will be back in action Thursday at T.A. Dugger as they take on Mitchell County at 6:30 p.m.

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