Putting the cap on a season… Elizabethton JV wrap up 2019 campaign with 37-18 win over South

Published 11:30 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The 2019 season for the Elizabethton Cyclone junior varsity team was filled with it’s up and downs and many close games but the team decided they wanted to go out with a bang and did so by finishing off Sullivan South in a 37-18 victory to close out their schedule for the season.
In a first half that looked like another game setting itself up to be a nailbiter in the first half, the Cyclones managed to squeeze out a tight 12-6 advantage at the intermission.
Dalton Mitchell found Nate Stephens for a touchdown toss in the first quarter and then connected with Josh Sweeney for a 49-yard scoring reception in the second quarter for the first two scores of the game for Elizabethton.
The Cyclones struggled to convert on the point-after attempts as did South on their lone score of the first half.
A bobbled kickoff on the part of South allowed the Cyclones to get good field position to start the third quarter as Andrew Stevens recovered the misplayed kickoff for EHS.
On the first play from scrimmage, Cyclone head coach Brian Jenkins called for the old hook and ladder play as Mitchell got the pass out to Peyton Johnson and Johnson put the perfect pitch into the hands of Stephens who wasn’t touched on the 24-yard touchdown.
Sean Smithdeal booted the point-after and the scoreboard quickly flipped to 19-6 in favor of the Cyclones with 9:50 showing on the third-quarter clock.
South kept coming, however, as just a little over three minutes later the Rebels sliced the lead to 19-12 on a scoring run while once again failing to convert the two-point conversion making it 19-12 Cyclones.
Stephens was at it again on the ensuing possession as this time the fleet-footed freshman running back took the ball to the house from 24-yards out to extend the lead to 25-12 as Smithdeal’s PAT was blocked after a high snap from center.
South wasn’t about to roll over as once again the Rebels answered Stephens score with one of their own just five seconds into the fourth quarter to once again cut the lead to 25-18 as South failed on their two-point try yet again.
The Cyclones went back to the airway after taking the kickoff and it paid off as Mitchell connected with Johnson on a 12-yard strike with 8:28 remaining to play in the contest.
EHS went for two and failed on the attempt leaving the score at 31-18 in favor of ‘Betsy.
The Cyclones put a giant exclamation mark on the season as Stephens took the handoff on a third down play and scampered down the Cyclone sideline for a 79-yard gallop to give the Cyclones their final score of the 2019 season and a 37-18 final as the PAT was no good.
“It was kind of sloppy but the kids battled through and had a good game and a big win with a lot of scores,” Jenkins said of his team’s final game of the season. “We gave up a few scores but I am proud of the effort all around.
“These kids didn’t lose a game at T.A Dugger so they came up here and faced some adversity. They have not been blowing teams out like they use to. This game and one other were the only games that weren’t settled by seven points or less.
“I am proud of the way they battled through that and handled the adversity and just kept coming back and battling through to the very end. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Jenkins noted that junior varsity football is a very important part of these kids’ high school career and case in point was last season’s overtime win by the junior varsity team over Greeneville on the road.
In the game against the Greeneville varsity two weeks ago, there was about 75 percent of the kids on the field that played in that contest last year so it does grow and develop the varsity team in playing a junior varsity schedule.

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