Tackling woes…. Jr. Cyclones suffer season’s first loss to Greeneville, 32-21

Published 12:46 am Saturday, September 14, 2019

GREENEVILLE – In the game of football, one of the basic fundamentals is how to break down on an opponent and make a tackle. When that fundamental is missing from a game, it is highly likely that a team will not be on the better end of the outcome.
The T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones found that out the hard way as the Jr. Cyclones suffered a stinging loss to the Greeneville Middle School Green Devils for the first loss of the season by a 32-21 score.
“We’re not very good tacklers,” said head coach Brock Pittman. “We work on tackling every day. We are just going to keep trying to get better at it. 
“There was one play that they scored on where they went untouched and other than that it was missed tackles. We had them in the backfield in good position and we just didn’t make the tackle. We have just got to get better at tackling. 
Greeneville took the early lead on an Emmanuel Dixon 44-yard run with 2:13 left in the first quarter. Quinten Brandon sent the point-after attempt straight through the uprights for a 7-0 Green Devil advantage.
The Jr. Cyclones responded just four seconds into the second quarter when sixth-grader Jaiden Wallin burst over the top of the Greeneville defense for a one-yard scoring run to pull TAD even at 7-7 on Caleb Campbell’s point-after was good.
It was another big play that put GMS back out front as Carson Quillen romped free on a 56-yard touchdown run with 4:42 remaining before the half. The two-point conversion was no good and the Green Devils led 13-7.
The Green Devils weren’t finished as quarterback Corbin Cannon found Bryson Myers on a 41-yard scoring toss with just 30 seconds remaining in the first half. Once again, the two-point conversion failed and the scoreboard read 19-7 in GMS favor.
TAD showed fight in the remaining seconds and it paid huge dividends as quarterback Gib Maupin found receiver Jeremiah Norris over the middle with Norris laying out beautifully to reel in the 27-yard touchdown reception as the clock struck zeroes.
Campbell’s extra point narrowed the halftime advantage to 19-14 and kept the Jr. Cyclones within striking distance.
Greeneville made hay quickly to start the second half as Cannon found Charles Dabney on a 51-yard scoring strike to extend the advantage to 26-14 on Brandon’s PAT.
The Jr. Cyclones put together another strong drive as once again Norris proved to be Maupin’s favorite target as the TAD quarterback hit Norris on a 74-yard touchdown toss that cut the margin back to 26-21 on Campbell’s kick with 3:50 remaining to play in the game.
Unfortunately for the Jr. Cyclones, the ensuing kickoff landed in the hands of Quillen and the kicking team somehow was in position but couldn’t make the tackle as Quillen tight roped the TAD sideline 80 yards to give the game it’s final score of 32-21 after a failed two-point conversion.
“Offensively, they made it hard on us running the football and that was good for us,” said Pittman. “The runs didn’t come easy. Gib stepped up in the passing game and the receivers did a great job making plays when we needed them really bad.
“The thing that really hurt us is we get within six and we kick off a great kick and they bring it back. We had guys in position and it was just poor tackling. They have a great football team and you can’t be bad tacklers against good football teams.”
The Jr. Cyclones are slated to travel to Mitchell County, NC on Tuesday and then host Crockett on Thursday at T.A. Dugger which will be a tremendous game as the TAD Middle band will be performing and a large crowd is being asked for to fill the stands at Brown-Childress Stadium.

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