High School Football Roundup
Published 11:38 pm Friday, August 18, 2023
Cyclones steamroll ‘Toppers to claim Railroad Rumble trophy
By Ivan Sanders
The Science Hill Hilltoppers know how it feels to be run over by a runaway locomotive after the Elizabethton Cyclones paid a visit to Kermit-Tipton Stadium and dominated the home standing ‘Toppers on both sides of the football to take a 27-7 win.
In doing so, the Cyclones brought the 3rd Annual Railroad Rumble trophy back home to the trophy case at Elizabethton High School.
Zeth Mullins scored two touchdowns on the ground, sophomore quarterback Rhett Slagle connected with Jeriah Griffin on a scoring toss, and Eli Blevins scored on a pick six as the Cyclones defense did the rest in holding the ‘Toppers to one score.
More on the game in Wednesday’s Star with coach and player interviews and complete game breakdown.
Tigers maul Bulldogs in season opener
By Larry N. Souders
The Hampton Bulldogs didn’t seem in sync as they took to JC Campbell field for the season opener against the Tigers of Pigeon Forge Friday night.
A Bulldog fumble on their opening possession led to a long, time consuming drive by Pigeon Forge that took most of the first quarter, and a 8-0 lead at the end of one.
On the ensuing kick-off Hampton just didn’t seem to be themselves. Plays were slow to develop, and the passing attack was none existent.
Very late in the first quarter the Bulldogs lost a key member of both their offense and defense with Chance Point (11) went down with an injury and never returned to the game.
Hampton finally evened the score when quarterback Dylan Trivett (18) sneaks his way into the end zone from three yards out for the Bulldogs first touchdown of the season late in the second quarter.
The final score was 24-14 as the Bulldogs fell to Pigeon Forge. For a more in-depth look at the Bulldogs season opener, profiles of the game’s outstanding players, stats, and an update on Point’s condition will appear in Wednesday’s edition of the Star.
Cloudland hangs on for non-conference win over Happy Valley
By Allen LaMountain
In a penalty plagued contest the Cloudland Highlanders used an interception return touchdown to take an early lead and hung on for a 14-12 non-conference win over Happy Valley on Warrior Hill on Friday night.
Junior middle linebacker Jacob Stinnett picked off Warriors junior quarterback Drew Blevins and raced 64 yards down the visitors sideline for the touchdown to give Cloudland (1-0) a 6-0 lead. Kyle Birchfield added the two point conversion.
Cloudland avenged a 22-14 loss last season with Birchfield adding a two yard scoring run before halftime. The Warriors (0-1) got touchdown passes from Blevins to Austin Nichols and Jamie Esterline in the second half but the two point try to tie fell short.
3-A Chucky Doak hands Rangers first loss
By C. Y. Peters
The Unaka Rangers traveled to Afton to open the 2023 football season and left with a 54-18 loss. Sometimes the score of a game doesn’t tell you about your team. Unaka led 12-7 before the wheels fell off in the second. The Black Knights scored 34 points in the second quarter and cruised to a 54-18 win.
“The Big Show Marcus” Shomake threw the Doak runners for two losses, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble for a huge first quarter. The up for the Rangers was the defense held the Knights to only one score in the first half. The Ranger line protected their quarterback Bryinn Repass; the only sack was on a face mask call on Doak.