Cloudland defeats Cosby 40-24 in pivotal Region 1A bout

Published 11:21 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
By Dallas Yount
The Newport Plain Talk
COSBY – The Cosby Eagles (2-3 overall, 1-1 Region 1A) had a week of rest to prepare for a tough Cloudland Highlander (2-4 overall, 2-0 Region 1A). Last season, the Eagles ventured to the highest point of the Great Smoky Mountains for a hard-fought battle but the Highlanders had the last laugh downing the roster-depleted Cosby, 52-18.
This matchup had more implications than it did in the past bout. The winner of this game claimed the driver’s seat and sole possession of the top spot in the Region 1-1A standings. A week of rest was enough for Cloudland on the road as they beat the Cosby Eagles Friday night at Virgil Ball Stadium, 40-24. Early in the first half, Cloudland forced a three and out and would drive down the field to strike first. Gage McKinney found the endzone from three yards out to give the Highlanders a 6-0 advantage. McKinney did most of the work on the ground on Friday night carrying the ball 37 times for 313 yards and four scores.
It didn’t take long for Cosby to gain momentum, the Eagles took advantage of a 58-yard kickoff run by Hayden Green. Three plays later, Tyler Turner found a slanting Hayden Green for an 11-yard score to even things up 6-6 early in the first quarter. Green has seven receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to Cloudland. Both teams were evenly matched throughout the first half; the Highlanders run game and Cosby’s aerial attack gave fans at Raymond Large Field plenty to cheer about.
With the Eagles up by one score at the half, Cloudland stuck to their bread and butter in the second half. McKinney found the end-zone once again for an 8-yard touchdown run to even the score up at 12-all. Cloudland forced another three and out and it only took three plays for McKinney to rip off another touchdown run this time from 59 yards out. Elijah Holtzclaw picked off Tyler Turner’s pass and returned it for a touchdown to give the Highlanders a 26-12 cushion. Holtzclaw’s pick-six wasn’t his only score in the win; he carried the ball 16 times for 61 yards and added a rushing touchdown on Friday night.
Cosby wouldn’t back down though, Turner connected with Green for a 41-yard pass to cut into the lead, 26-18. Turner completed nine passes on 26 attempts for 134 yards and three scores including one interception in the loss. Cosby’s defense held their own against the Highlanders’ ground game. Slate Shropshire led the Eagles with 12 total tackles while teammates Nate Joyce recorded a sack and Trey Wilson recovered a fumble in the defeat. McKinney’s rushing attack was too much for the Eagles, advancing to 2-0 in Region 1A play with a 40-24 win on the road. Cosby will host the North Greene Huskies, another region opponent, next Friday at Raymond Large Field. Cloudland will travel to West Greene next Friday night for a non-region matchup.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox