Jr. Cyclones finish the regular season unbeaten

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

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KINGSPORT – The T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones had one last piece of business to take care of to close out their regular season and that was to walk off the field with a win to put the cherry on top of a successful 2021 campaign.

The only thing standing in their way was the Ross Robinson Redskins and it wasn’t easy but the Jr. Cyclones built a wall on a two-point conversion with two seconds left on the game clock to win in dramatic fashion 14-12.

“Robinson has a heck of a team,” said Jr. Cyclone head coach Brock Pittman. “The difference in the game I swear was we played so good defensively in the first half and we didn’t break. They got it going in the second half and our kids just did a great job of making them earn it.

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“There was one big play that we gave up on the sweep pass but outside of that, we made them earn it and do what was necessary to win the game.”

After a scoreless first quarter, T.A. Dugger jumped aboard the J-Train as Jaiden Wallin put his team on his shoulders and carried the football down to the one-yard line with 2:30 left in the first half.

On the next play, Wallin stepped into the end zone behind the great blocking of his offensive line to give the Jr. Cyclones the 6-0 lead.

Placekicker William Bowers tacked on the extra point and TAD had the 7-0 lead.

The score remained that way into the fourth quarter when it was Wallin again who brought the Jr. Cyclone fans to their feet when he broke through the line and rumbled his way 82 yards to pay dirt outrunning several Redskin defensive backs for the score with 6:03 remaining in the contest.

Once again Bowers was true on his PAT and TAD led 14-0.

Unwilling to lay down. the Redskins put together a drive of their own and capitalized with 3:59 to play when quarterback Levi Chatman found Fabian Goodwin for a one-yard touchdown toss to cut the lead to 14-6 after the two-point conversion failed.

Ross Robinson held defensively and got the ball back with time still left on the clock to make a charge at the Jr. Cyclones.

With 2.4 seconds left, the Redskins put the ball into the end zone and needed a successful two-point conversion to even the game and force overtime.

With a possibility of seeing the perfect season in jeopardy, the Jr. Cyclone defense rose to the occasion and plugged every gap in keeping Robinson outside the goal line to seal the victory.

Offensively, Wallin had an unreal night as the bruising back totaled 22 carries for 212 yards and the two scores. On the season, the back has over 800 yards rushing even with limited carries as he plays linebacker on defense as well.

“We blew some opportunities here and there but at the same time, our defense really stepped up,” said Pittman. “When they went for two there at the end, we brought a blitz that the kids know how to run and it affected the play. I am just really proud of those kids.

“They worked so hard to come here in this place and win a championship – I am just really proud of them.”

With the JV also winning, both squads finished the season with a combined 16-0 overall mark.

The Jr. Cyclone varsity has one remaining game left and that is Wednesday’s bowl game against Greeneville at Citizens Bank Stadium at 6 pm.