Pulling a rabbit out of the hat… Cyclone JV work magic to win in last 10 seconds of the contest

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Harry Houdini would have had a smile on his face if he was in attendance at Citizens Bank Stadium on Monday evening when the Elizabethton Cyclone JV and Daniel Boone JV squared off in a thriller of a football game.
Trailing 21-19 with less than 20 seconds left to play, the Cyclones appeared to be shackled with unbreakable chains and staring at being handcuffed with a defeat, but thanks to a little ‘Russell’ magic that has been spun on the field before, Elizabethton pulled off the unthinkable to take a 27-21 victory.
That ‘Russell’ magic came from freshman Cade Russell who fielded a punt at the Daniel Boone 48, put on a couple of moves, picked up a couple of blocks, and by the time Boone looked up, Russell was standing in the end zone with the go-ahead score with eight seconds showing on the clock.
Russell put the finishing touches on by catching the two-point conversion pass from Dalton Mitchell to give the final score of 27-21.
It was Russell’s second score of the contest as he put the Cyclones up at the 7:45 mark of the first quarter when he reeled in a 43-yard scoring toss from Mitchell to stake Elizabethton to a 7-0 lead on Connor Blevins point after.
Boone was able to pull even before the quarter expired on the tough running of Nate Rader who bulled his way in for an eight-yard scoring run with 2:10 left to play in the opening quarter.
Ben Shrewsberry easily split the uprights and the game was tied at 7-7 as the quarter came to an end.
Boone seized the lead with 3:10 left before the half when quarterback Brogan Jones found Rylan Trout for a scoring pass with Shrewsberry converting the PAT for a 14-7 Trailblazer advantage.
Elizabethton scored just 50 seconds later when fleet-footed Nate Stephens broke free for a 55-yard gallop to the end zone. Blevins missed on the point after the scoreboard read 14-13 and that would be the score at the intermission.
Boone came out and continued to run the football and it paid off as the visitors gave Rader the ball and he took care of business from the two-yard line to extend the lead to 21-13 after Shrewsberry converted the PAT.
The Cyclones had the opportunity to pull even after Mitchell connected with Jordan Killion for a two-yard touchdown pass with 1:17 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed and Boone still clung to the 21-19 lead.
It looked like the Trailblazers had the game locked up after picking off a Cyclone trick pass on a fourth down and the clock sitting at a few ticks past two minutes.
However, the Cyclone defense rose to the occasion holding Boone and when the Blazers elected to call a timeout with 20 seconds left on fourth down, there was still life left on the Elizabethton sideline.
It was Russell’s turn then to take center stage and he put on a performance to remember on the punt return that sealed the win for the Cyclones.
“They (Boone) just lull you to sleep,” said Cyclone JV head coach Brian Jenkins. “They probably had the football at least 30 of the game’s 40 minutes or maybe more.
“But hats off to Cade who wasn’t feeling well with a stomach bug or something, but he came through big when we needed him with that big return. Peyton Johnson and Nate Stephens had big blocks to allow him to get to the end zone.
“It was a total team effort from everybody. Coach Campbell moved some guys up because they were gashing us up the middle. He saw what we needed to do and got kids in the right places to make the plays when we needed them the most.”
The Cyclone JV now stand at 2-2 on the young season and will host Science Hill next Monday at 6 pm at Citizens Bank Stadium.

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