Highlanders keep cool against Harriman, 28-7

Published 12:53 am Saturday, November 9, 2019

ROAN MOUNTAIN- It was a frigid night on Roan Mountain as the Cloudland Highlanders hosted the visiting Harriman Blue Devils.
A tightly contested game throughout, both teams struggled to hold on to the ball as the rock hit the deck on numerous occasions. The Highlanders would, however, get the last laugh, 28-7.
Cloudland started as they meant to go on with a blistering 10-play drive that spanned the entire first part of the opening frame.
The drive appeared to be coming to a premature end before Hunter Shell found Triston Lacy on a 30-yard streak down the field.
The Highlanders would continue their march on the ground with Hunter Blair eventually punching it in from six yards out.
Harriman would takeover next looking to recover the 8-0 deficit starting with a heavy diet of Dylan Kocka feeding him the rock on three consecutive plays.
The drive, however, would stall out after Blue Devil receivers appeared to have trouble catching passes due to the cold.
The ‘Landers would take control again deep in their own territory after a great punt from Harriman.
Just as a three and out appeared to be in motion, Shell would find Gage McKinney behind everyone for the mammoth 92-yard touchdown giving the Highlanders the 14-0 lead.
After a Harriman three and out, Cloudland took over looking to put the game out of reach with Shell finding Lacy for 42 yards on the opening play of the drive.
But the very next play the ‘Landers would fumble the ball and surrender all their momentum.
The Harriman drive that ensued was short-lived just as the Cloudland drive that followed.
At 14-0 Harriman knew it had to get some sort of offense going which is exactly what they would do on the next drive.
A quick-fire strike on the second play of the drive from Bradley Frost to Kylan Love led to a 71-yard score. The PAT would make it 14-7 in favor of Cloudland.
The score would remain the same as the two teams went into the break in a tight contest.
Though the first half was even, the second half belonged to the Highlanders.
The two teams sloppily exchanged possession to start the quarter, but Cloudland would eventually take advantage of a Harriman fumble as Blair would again find paydirt giving the Landers the 20-7 lead.
HarrimanĀ mounted another long drive but it again would stall out as the Highlanders defense came to play on Friday night.
Cloudland would close the deal on a long, soul-draining drive that was capped off by a Seth Birchfield three-yard score. After the successful two-point conversion, the ‘Landers led 28-7.
The game was capped off with a game-ending interception from Bentley Gilbert and the Highlanders moved on to fight another week.
Next week the Highlanders will host Oliver Springs in second-round action. Oliver Springs defeated Jellico 42-6 to earn the scenic drive to Roan Mountain.

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