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Ready to roll… Elizabethton set to embark on a trek toward a second consecutive title

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
It’s familiar territory for the Elizabethton Cyclone football team as after earning their second consecutive 10-0 regular-season, the Cyclones play host to a team that set their course through the playoffs in 2019 when the East Ridge Pioneers come calling on Friday night at 7 pm in the first round of the 2020 Division 1 Class 4A playoffs.

In other games affecting Class 4A this week, Greeneville earned a COVID-19 win over Howard, Anderson County plays host to Grainger County, and Sullivan South travels to the Chattanooga area to tangle with East Hamilton as this year’s first-round is identical to last years pairings.

The Cyclones closed out the regular season in style last week posting 70 points against Central and now settles in for a five-game stretch which hopefully will lead to their second consecutive state title.

There won’t be many surprises as to what to expect in the second season as this year’s team pretty much had an active hand in helping lead the way to the title in 2019.

It all comes down to executing the game plan, eliminate mistakes, and playing Cyclone football of staying on the blocks and making the tackles.

Leading the way for the Cyclones is junior quarterback Bryson Rollins who finished the regular season with some pretty impressive numbers for the Mr. Football Class 4A contender.

Rollins finished with 123 carries for 786 yards and 16 touchdowns while completing 80 of 114 passes with three interceptions for 1,482 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Parker Hughes has been on the receiving end of 44 catches for 970 yards and 14 scores. Jake Roberts has 14 catches for 287 yards and four scores.

One surprise of late has been the output of sophomore running back Nate Stephens who has quickly caught up with Rollins on the ground carrying 73 times for 752 yards and 11 touchdowns as it is possible that the Cyclones could see two 1,000 yard rushers by season’s end and a 1,000-yard receiver as well.

However, for that to happen, the Cyclones will need to continue their winning ways.

Defensively, the Cyclones will need to control the line of scrimmage up front led by junior Trenton Taylor and linebacker Deuce Morton. If the defense can do its job and limit the offensive time on the field by East Ridge, this game could be over by halftime.

However, if the Pioneers get a little momentum it could be a long game for the Cyclones.

Kickoff is scheduled a half-hour earlier than during the regular season as the game will begin at 7 pm.