Cyclones gas Green Hornets in rout

Published 11:58 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT
After much concern about a very good Knox Carter offense coming into the game, it didn’t take but one-half of hard-nosed defense and an efficient offense by the Elizabethton Cyclones to pour gas on the Hornets nest and put the game out of reach.
Behind four Nate Stephens rushing touchdowns in the first half alone, the Cyclones rode a 35-7 first-half lead to a 49-7 final to advance to round two of next week’s 2022 BlueCross Bowl Class 4A showdown with the Anderson County Mavericks.
The contest will be the second meeting between the two teams this season as Anderson County fended off the Cyclones 35-34 in their first meeting in overtime.
After stumbling out of the gate on their first possession, the Cyclones were almost unstoppable the rest of the way as Coach Shawn Witten’s team rolled up 309 yards of total offense as the ground game produced 42 carries for 280 yards while the passing game produced only 29 yards on 3-of-8 attempts between Dalton Mitchell and Gib Maupin.
It was the Stephens show on the night as the senior running back carried 22 times for 196 yards and five scores. The Green Hornet defense struggled to bring Stephens under control. And when Stephens was taking a breather, senior Cade Russell made sure to keep the Cyclones rolling as Russell scored twice in the contest while carrying eight times for 42 yards.
Freshman running back Jaiden ‘J Bird’ Wallin came in late and racked up 38 yards on eight totes of the pigskin with Mitchell and Maupin finishing with three and one yards respectively.
The Cyclone defense tuned up for next week’s rematch with Anderson County by holding the Carter offense and its star quarterback to a total of 115 yards in the game. The only score for the Hornets came as a Cyclone defender was breaking for the football and Chandler Wilson uncorked a 62-yard scoring toss to Hornet wide receiver Spencer Russell.
Elizabethton’s defense welcomed back Mason Ball who has been out since the Boone game with a broken finger and Ball picked right back up where he left off as he recorded two sacks and an interception.
Eli Guess and Zeth Mullins also made an impact defensively as both recorded a pair of sacks while Wes Shankles got into the action by recording a sack as well as the Cyclones had seven sacks in the contest. While the defensive front was taking care of the Hornet offense up front, sophomore defensive back Jeriah Griffin took care of the deep attempts by recording two interceptions in the contest.
The Cyclones recorded 14 first downs to only four for Carter. Wilson was only 15-of-25 passing with three interceptions for 89 yards. The Green Hornets had 18 rushes for 26 yards in the game.
Elizabethton and Anderson County will kick off their contest next week at 7 pm. The Mavericks defeated Seymour 55-6 Friday night to advance.

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