Passing the test… Cyclones adjust in face of adversity to take a 35-12 win

Published 12:29 am Saturday, September 14, 2019

With little resistance last week against an overmatched Sullivan East Patriot team, the Elizabethton Cyclones were needed a dose of adversity to see how they would performer in tight situations and Daniel Boone was obliged to give them all the testing they needed.
Behind a pair of touchdown passes from Bryson Rollins and a pair of rushing touchdowns from Cade Maupin, the Cyclones managed to pull away in the second half to take the win over a determined Boone squad playing without their star Charlie Cole.
Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten had said earlier in the week that in many cases losing a star player will pull a team together and it was evident at Citizens Bank Stadium that the Trailblazers came to play some tough-nosed football.
The Cyclones put the first two scores on the board in the game as Rollins found sophomore Jake Roberts for a 13-yard scoring toss and then found junior Braden Holly a little less than six minutes later on a 21-yard laser that Holly made an exception grab on.
After Jaxton Holly took care of both extra-point attempts, the Cyclones led 14-0.
But the Blazers quickly threw the brakes on the Cyclones when Kaleb Worley found pay dirt to cut the lead to 14-6 after the kick failed.
Boone added another score to their side of the scoreboard when Jacob Jenkins booted a 27-yard field goal with 1:25 left in the first half.
The Cyclones still had something to say in the half, however, as after the ball came to the 20-yard line on a touchback on the kick, Cade Maupin broke through the Blazer defense and turned on the jets to outrun the Boone secondary for an 80-yard scoring romp.
The PAT by Holly was true and the Cyclones led 21-9 at that point.
Boone got the last lick in as time expired before the half moving the ball quickly downfield where Jenkins blasted a 41-yard field goal as time expired in the half with the Cyclones clutching tightly to a 21-12 advantage.
Elizabethton turned to its defense in the third quarter for a score as Roberts picked off his second pick-six in as many weeks as he stepped into the passing lane of the Boone quarterback and returned the interception 42 yards for the score to make it 28-12 after Holly took care of the point after.
The Cyclone defense tightened up significantly in the second half as Boone struggled to move the football as they did in the first half.
Elizabethton tacked on an insurance score in the fourth quarter as Maupin burst in from seven yards out. Holly completed the scoring with his fifth point-after of the contest to give the game its final 35-12 margin of victory.
For the contest, Maupin finished with 14 carries for 131 yards and the two scores. Rollins also had a stellar night on the ground with 13 carries covering 80 yards as the pair combined for a total of 27 carries and 211 yards.
“We faced some adversity and we needed a big play going into the half and the line blocked perfect,” said Maupin about his 80-yard gallop. “All the credit to the line.
“It really feels great. The coaches stayed on me this week about hitting the holes hard. I just came out here wanting to prove something. All the credit to the coaches for keeping me focused.”
If there were one glaring statistic it would be that the Cyclones were penalized 10 times for 97 yards while fumbling three times and losing two of those.
“We talked before the game about how we strive for perfection,” said Witten after the game. “We work really hard to demand that excellence and we haven’t really faced a ton of adversity throughout the first two games and tonight we did that.
“It was good to see us not flinch and kind of hang in there. We left our defense too much on the field in the second quarter but it was good to see us get knocked down a little bit but we kept our composure and kept playing.”
The Cyclones (3-0, 1-0) will host conference foe Grainger County next week for a 7:30 pm kickoff. It will be Gold Out night to support the efforts of the football team to raise money to fight cancer for St. Jude.

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