Jr. Cyclones hammer Indian Trail to remain perfect

Published 8:24 am Friday, September 16, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT
The stage was like a high school football game under Thursday night lights at Citizens Bank Stadium as the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones played host to the Indian Trail Hawks looking to keep their perfect season record unscathed.
With the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclone band, the T.A. Dugger cheerleading squad, and a large crowd filling the stadium, the Jr. Cyclones started slow but closed out like gangbusters in taking a 41-0 victory.
The win ran the Jr. Cyclones record to 6-0 with two games remaining against Liberty Bell and Greeneville.
Coach Brock Pittman’s team jumped on top with 4:05 showing in the first quarter as CJ Mathes blasted over the goal line from 10 yards out to get the score rolling.
A mishandled snap led to the missed extra point by William Bowers to give the Jr. Cyclones a 6-0 lead.
The Jr. Cyclones added to the lead in the second quarter as it was Mathes once again rumbling in from 35 yards out to give TAD a 13-0 edge after Bowers split the uprights on the PAT with 4:22 remaining before half.
Mathes found pay dirt once more before the half when he carried the ball over from the five-yard line with 1:50 remaining. Bowers once again was true with his kick and the lead ballooned to 20-0.
Coming out of the break, the Jr. Cyclones picked up steam quickly as Jaxon Price found Braylon Britt for a 30-yard scoring strike to extend the lead to 27-0 on Bowers PAT with only 18 seconds off the third quarter clock.
The score was set up when  Aldo Cordell put a hit on the Indian Trail returner on the opening kickoff of the second half forcing the ball loose and recovered by the Jr. Cyclones.
Things kept getting worse for the Hawks on the ensuing possession when quarterback Max Brian was picked off by who else but Cordell for TAD.
Brycen Blevins would take his turn at quarterback and find Jason Lane for a 24-yard scoring toss with five minutes still left in the third for a 34-0 Jr. Cyclone lead after Bowers kick.
The Jr. Cyclone defense would once again set the offense up for its last score as Britt stepped in front of a Brian pass for another interception.
Price went back under center and hit Harrison Hobbs for a 30-yard scoring pass to give the game its final score after Bowers kick.
“We had a really good week of practice focus wise,” said Pittman after the contest. “Our coaches did a great job of getting them ready. To Indian Trail’s credit, they do a lot offensively that caused our defense to have to get lined up correctly. They have speed that we can’t replicate in practice. We have to find ways to be ready for that right off the bat.”
Pittman said the environment was a great one for his team to experience.
“There is no place like this with the band coming out and the cheerleaders coming out makes a huge difference,” Pittman said. “Playing in front of the huge crowd was also huge for these guys.”
The Jr. Cyclones will be back in action Thursday, Sept. 22 at Kermit-Tipton Stadium in Johnson City. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

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