EHS takes mercy-rule win over Volunteer

Published 6:40 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2021

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The Elizabethton Cyclones set the pace on Tuesday afternoon with a pair of goals in the first nine minutes of play and used that momentum to forge a 9-0 conference victory over Volunteer at Citizens Bank Stadium.

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EHS (5-2-1 overall, 2-0 conference) has won both of their conference matches by the mercy rule with a 9-0 win over Sullivan South earlier in the schedule. The Cyclones got a pair of goals from senior Holston Howard and sophomore Dawson May and five other individual goals in a dominant performance.

“We have Greeneville coming up next week and we want to send a message to them,” Howard said. “I want to go far this year so we are trying to send a message to other teams that we are the real deal this year.

“I can sometimes flip a game around and we played well the first two minutes then we slowed down so I took it on myself to get back to what we needed.”

Howard was speaking about his spectacular scoring play in which he took on the entire Volunteer back line and scored the second goal of the match.

Howard took possession at midfield and charged forward toward the Falcons goal. At the 30 yard line, he made a move inside that left the Volunteer defender flatfooted and he split two others and fired a shot past Falcons goalkeeper Zach Taylor for a 2-nil Cyclones advantage.

Junior Skylar Jenkins scored the first goal of the match in the second minute when the Volunteer back line failed to clear the ball from the penalty area and the Cyclones pounced on the mistake quickly with an assist from fellow junior Clay Hopland on the goal from Jenkins.

Hopland scored a goal and had three assists in the match as EHS began to show the crisp crossing passes head coach Bill McClay had been demanding from his squad.

“We had been talking about that the last couple of days to make the most of opportunities,” McClay said. “Don’t waste opportunities and we started off with a nice cross to Skylar who scored. That shows that goals will come if you put yourself in the right position.”

Freshman Riley Vernon scored in the 29th minute on a header with an assist from Hopland giving EHS a 3-nil advantage at the half.

Howard got the Cyclones offense revved up in the second half with a goal four minutes in and assisted on a goal by senior Kerry Williams as he put his corner kick in a place where Williams could head the ball past Taylor for a 5-nil EHS lead.

May scored in the 64th minute, Hopland in the 65th minute, with May scoring again in the 71st minute with the assist going to Hopland once again, and in the 77th-minute, freshman Tylar Jenkins ended the match with a goal that forced the mercy rule ending.

The Cyclones will travel to Greeneville on April 27 for a game that could well decide who will take first place in the conference.

“We get Tennessee High next and on Saturday we play Mount Mission who is a very talented team,” McClay said. “Then we go to Greeneville next Tuesday and we should know where we stand then.”

EHS 9-0

Volunteer 0 0 – 0

Elizabethton 3 6 – 9

Scoring Summary

First Half

E – S. Jenkins (assist Hopland) 2:00

E – Howard (unassisted) 9:00

E – Vernon (assist Hopland) 29:00

Second Half

E – Howard (unassisted) 44:00

E – K. Williams (assist Howard) 59:00

E – May (unassisted) 64:00

E – Hopland (unassisted) 65:00

E – May (assist Hopland) 71:00

E – T. Jenkins (unassisted) 77:00