It’s not how you start… Jr. Cyclones finish with a flurry to take down Crockett, 21-14

Published 12:36 am Saturday, September 21, 2019

It has been said over and over a hundred times, but the adage it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish played out yet again Thursday evening at Brown-Childress Stadium as the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones played host to the Crockett Jr. Pioneers before a large crowd.
The Jr. Cyclones just didn’t show up early on like they have so many times before this season and as a result, found themselves in a hole as the first half ended.
It was the Jr. Pioneers who came to play as they would roll out to an early 6-0 lead after the point after failed.
With time ticking down in the first half, the Jr. Cyclones managed to take a 7-6 lead when quarterback Gib Maupin found Luke Whaley on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Caleb Campbell continued to provide solid placekicking duties when he connected on the point-after to make it 7-6 Jr. Cyclones.
But just as fast as the Jr. Cyclones took the lead, the Pioneers made the most of a last-gasp attempt as the horn sounded to end the half when the Jr. Pioneer quarterback found a wide-open receiver for a 75-yard scoring toss and then Crockett converted the two-point conversion for a 14-7 halftime advantage.
Neither team could score in the third quarter as the game would go into the final quarter in regulation tied at 14-14.
The coaching staff then turned to Jeriah Griffin and the speed-burning running back touched the ball only two times before rolling into the end zone on a 23-yard run with 6:16 left to play to even the score at 14-14 on Campbell’s PAT boot.
With the lead, the Jr. Cyclone defense loosened up and began playing like they were capable and stopped the Pioneers on downs to take the ball over.
It was a no-brainer whose hands the ball was going to be in as Griffin exploded over the goal line from the four-yard line with 1:43 left to play. Campbell split the uprights and the Jr. Cyclones had a 21-14 lead.
The game was put on ice thanks to the defense creating a turnover on a fumble and after getting a first down, the Jr. Cyclones took a couple of knees offensively to run out the clock.
“We played really well on defense the whole game,” said head coach Brock Pittman. “Defensively Crockett was aggressive. They were coming hard bringing six guys on defense and it took a little while for us to settle in.
“We were able to get them to jump offsides a few times that slowed them down. We made some adjustments at halftime as well as some personnel changes because there were some kids that weren’t getting the job done and we had to put someone in there that was.
“Crockett had to work for everything they got. It’s a typical game for us. We have been in dogfights and I like being in those dogfights. It’s the only way we are going to learn.”
Next Thursday night will be Eighth Grade Night as the Jr. Cyclones host Liberty Bell at Citizens Bank Stadium.

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