Cyclones will be looking to coral high-octane Mavericks

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, September 20, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT
There hasn’t been a week aside from last week’s contest against Grainger Co. that the Elizabethton Cyclones haven’t had to line up opposite an opponent that hasn’t been ranked in the state polls or toward the top of their classification.
This week is no different for the Cyclones as they will board the bus for a long ride down I-81 and up I-75 to Anderson Co. to take on the state’s #2 Class 4A Anderson Co. Mavericks who the Cyclones have been able to defeat the last two seasons on their run to the Blue Cross Class 4-A State Championships.
However, this year has been much different as the Cyclones continue to face stiff competition while the offense just found its footing last week against Grainger Co. – a game won by Elizabethton, 47-0.
While Anderson Co. has outscored its opponents 207-72  including wins over Powell (48-14), Science Hill (48-6), Fulton (35-7), Rhea Co. (41-38), and South Doyle (35-7), the Cyclones have only won one of four contest thus far scoring 54 points while holding their opposition to only 45.
“They love to score and score quickly,” said Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten who makes no bones about the challenge before his team Friday night. “Their quarterback Walker Martinez can really throw the football all over the place. Anderson Co. is a very solid football team this year.”
The Cyclones looked like the Cyclones of old last week scoring-wise, however, the points came in a lot different way than that of the last few years.
After struggling to get a run game going, Witten put together a passing game plan against the Grizzlies that yielded amazing results from its two quarterback system.
Junior quarterback Gib Maupin connected on 7-of-8 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns while senior Dalton Mitchell was a perfect 6-of-6 for 121 yards and two scores compiling a total of 322 yards on 13-of-14 passing with five scores. The Cyclones finished with 434 total yards.
While the Cyclone offense once again will be challenged this week as they attempt to work against the Mavericks five-man front, the defense will once again have to continue to shine as they will be without Mason Ball for the second straight week after Ball severely broke his finger against Science Hill.
The good news is that linebacker Eli Williams will be back after missing a couple of games after banging up his shoulder against Science Hill.
It will take a perfectly played contest by the Cyclones on both sides of the football but the Cyclones have been in this position before and are no strangers to playing in adverse situations, especially when it comes to playing at Anderson County.
Playing as the underdog is something that Witten and his team have relished in the past and they will be in that situation once again. The Cyclones will need all the 12th man support they can get from Cyclone Nation playing in the hostile environment.
The kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

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