And Still… Elizabethton seniors lead Cyclones to a successful title defense

Published 12:23 am Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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Cookeville- After reaching the TSSAA BlueCross Bowl for the first time in 81 years around this time last December, the Elizabethton Cyclones found themselves back in Cookeville Saturday to defend their title against the Haywood Tomcats and win their second consecutive state championship.

Having participated in last year’s championship game, the Cyclones returned many starters who knew what was at stake as they dominated yet again, winning by a final score of 41-14.

It was a combination of the Cyclones usual high-powered offense as well as an impenetrable defense that was led by MVP Jake Roberts who managed a fumble recovery TD and followed it up not even a minute later with a pick-six to deliver the final blow to the Tomcats.

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But in the end, it was an excellent team effort from not only all of the players but also the coaches and the fans who showed up to Tucker Stadium in remarkable numbers yet again.

While it was a time of celebration for the city of Elizabethton, it also marked the end of high school football careers for ten seniors who capped off an amazing run that included two state titles and a 30-game winning streak that is still ongoing.

Defensive leader, linebacker Deuce Morton talked about how this year’s championship began a year ago, the week after their win in the 2019 championship game.

“Coach Witten told us after last year that we now had a target on our back. We got back in the weight room as soon as we could after last season because we knew we needed to look ahead to our goal for this year.

“Winning the state championship in my last game as a Cyclone truly is sad when I think about it, but it’s also an amazing feeling because I’m glad I could go out with a win. I wouldn’t want to accomplish this goal with any other group of seniors.”

After dominating upfront in the contest, offensive lineman Wes Erwin also gave some insight into capping off his high school career with a win.

“Coach Witten told us that last year’s championship was for the community to make the city proud, but this one was for us. We worked so hard to get here again and I’m so glad that I could put the jersey on for Elizabethton one last time and go out with a win.”

Another pivotal part of this year’s Cyclone team, Ladarian Avery spoke on what this second title means to him and his teammates.

“We knew that this team wasn’t going to lay down for us, no team that makes it to the state championship does. We gave so much effort this offseason and this season, and it showed today.

“To bring that gold ball home two years in a row, and especially to bring it home in my last game is unbelievable. To be able to show out for the city and for all those that have supported us from day one is truly an honor and I’m proud to have played for the orange and black. “

It was yet another season to remember for the Cyclones, and it doesn’t look like Elizabethton will be going away anytime soon as they will be returning many talented players for the years to come.

And if for some reason you are not a believer in this program, you may want to hop on the train while you can because this will not be the last time you see those orange and black uniforms playing in December at Tucker Stadium.