Cyclones leave no doubt in smackdown of Mavericks

Published 1:02 am Saturday, November 13, 2021

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CLINTON – The trip to Anderson County has never left many happy memories for the Elizabethton Cyclones, but after Friday night’s game in Clinton, the nightmares may turn to sweet dreams for the year ahead.

The Cyclones came out fired up to build a 28-0 halftime and cruised in the second half to a 45-7 victory to send Elizabethton to Burley Field next Friday night in the third round of the 2021 Class 4-A playoffs with a measure of revenge in mind for the Greene Devils who spoiled the Cyclones win streak earlier in the regular season.

Taking the opening kickoff, the Cyclones marched quickly down the field to score less than three minutes in as quarterback Bryson Rollins found one of his favorite receivers in Jake Roberts for a 30-yard scoring pass. Sean Smithdeal’s point after was good and ‘Betsy led 7-0.

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The Cyclone defense was just a hammer all night long as every time Anderson County had the football, the Cyclones simply said, “No, not tonight” for the entire contest as the Cyclone offense roamed the field for much of the contest.

Roberts extended the lead with 3:58 remaining in the first quarter as Roberts reeled in a 22-yard pass from Rollins to push the lead to 14-0 on Smithdeal’s kick.

With the same score in the second quarter, Rollins did it with his legs for the third score bursting over on a five-yard plunge to make it 21-0 on Smithdeal’s kick with 9:51 remaining in the first half.

Teddy Orton closed out the scoring in the half as he took a short pass from Rollins and turned it into a 42-yard scoring romp with 1:49 left before intermission making it 28-0 on Smithdeal’s fourth point-after of the half.

Anderson County fans only had one chance to really celebrate a score on the night as Garrison Terry took the opening second-half kickoff and rambled 92 yards to pay dirt to cut the lead to 28-7 after the extra point.

That was as close as the Mavericks would get as the Cyclones held the home team to negative seven yards offensively up until nine minutes left in the game.

The Cyclones added three more scores on a Cade Russell four-yard run, a Smithdeal 26-yard field goal, and a 44-yard run by Nate Stephens as Smithdeal converted on the other two scores as well.

Elizabethton racked up 426 yards of total offense to only 35 for Anderson County. The Cyclones recorded 17 first downs to only five for the Mavericks.

Both teams had several penalties as the Cyclones were flagged nine times for 85 yards while the Mavericks were whistled eight times for 71 yards.

Rollins accounted for 326 of total offense with 172 yards on 11-of-17 passing with one interception and three scores and rushed 21 times for 154 yards and a score as the senior may have been blowing off some steam after being left off the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football list for Class 4-A.

Elizabethton’s T.J. Little recovered a fumble with Eli Williams racking up three sacks in the contest. The Mavericks punted eight times in the contest for a 34.8 average while the Cyclones punted only twice for a 40.5 average.

Next week’s game at Burley Stadium in Greeneville will kick off at 7 p.m.