Cyclone JV wins three-overtime thriller, 36-34

Published 1:17 am Saturday, August 31, 2019

The football game between the Elizabethton Cyclone JV and the visiting Mitchell County, NC Mountaineers got off to an ominous start as just a few plays into the game a player from Mitchell County broke a leg so bad a pop could be heard on the sideline when it happened.
Both teams looked on from the sidelines with a deep concern for the young man and after a lengthy wait for an ambulance to take the player to a local hospital, the game finally resumed and it was easily detected that the injury could have hampered both teams efforts early on.
Neither team could punch the football across the goal line in the first half of play as intermission came with a 0-0 score.
But there was no lack of scoring in the second half of play as both teams put 16 points on their side of the scoreboard which forced the first overtime.
Each time took possession on the 10-yard line and each team managed to score a touchdown but neither could complete their extra-point attempt forcing a second overtime tied at 22-all.
Once again, the same results happened in the second overtime period as both teams pushed the opposing defense into a score with the two-point conversions failing once again with the score knotted at 28-28.
Needing something to happen to bring the more than three-hour game to an end, after the Mountaineers scored to make it 34-28 after their third consecutive failed extra point, the Cyclones were ready to bring the contest to a closure.
Using the speed of Nate Stephens to race into the end zone to tie the game at 34-all, Stephens was called on once again for the two-point conversion and this time Mitchell County wasn’t going to get to the speedster as he raced around the end and into the end zone untouched to give the Cyclones the 36-34 victory.
“It was a bunch of young kids stepping up. We basically played two JV games with 90 percent ninth graders. Hats off to the kids. They have faced a lot of adversity with a lot of kids playing a lot of snaps,” said junior varsity head coach Brian Jenkins.
“You could tell we were gassed at the end as was Mitchell County. We stepped up and made plays when we had to. I told them that they bent but didn’t break and that’s what you have to do to win games like this.
“The offense was kind of stagnant and we were hurting ourselves. We would get big chunks of yards and then take a sack or lose some big yards,” Jenkins continued. “It was mental mistakes.
“We got a big play at the start of the second half with the reverse to Nate and I thought that would jump-start us but they came back and scored right after that”
Jenkins was asked what adjustments that he made at halftime to get things going the Cyclones way.
“We didn’t make any real adjustments. I think it was just the kids trying to do too much for their team,” Jenkins stated. 
“We had kids playing out of position. We have as many hurt as we did dressed as you can see. We just plugged and prodded along with kids playing positions they haven’t played and ultimately that’s what it takes to win.”
Jenkins said that the injury to the Mountaineer player could have affected the play in the opening half.
“Both teams were flat after that until halftime. I think it just took someone scoring to loosen them up.”
The Cyclone junior varsity will travel to Kingsport on Monday for a 12 noon contest against the Dobyns-Bennett Indians.

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