Science Hill flattened by Cyclones in Railroad Rumble #3

Published 1:36 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

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JOHNSON CITY – One could call it whatever their terms might be – woodshed whipping, steamrolled, flattened or a bevy of other descriptive adjectives but ultimately it was just sheer team domination by one over the other in Johnson City when Science Hill and Elizabethton met on the gridiron for the Railroad Rumble Part #3.
The Cyclones scored the first touchdown of the game and never looked back as Science Hill was beaten on the offensive side, defensive side, and special teams with Elizabethton taking the Railroad Rumble trophy back to Elizabethton with a 27-7 season-opening victory.
The Game
First Quarter
Elizabethton received the opening kickoff and marched steadily down the field as the front line of the Cyclones had their way with the defense of Science Hill creating holes for running backs Kaleb Holzer, Zeth Mullins, Jaiden Wallin, and quarterback Rhett Slagle.
Mullins capped off the drive with an eight-yard run to stake the Cyclones to a 7-0 advantage after a Will Bowers point-after was good with 7:21 showing on the first quarter clock.
The Cyclone defense, meanwhile, stopped the Hilltoppers initial drive after the ‘Toppers shot themselves in the foot with several penalties as well with Elizabethton holding on a fourth down play to get the football back for the offense.
First quarter score: EHS 7 – SH 0.
Second Quarter
With possession of the football once again, the Cyclones used a good mix of run-pass plays to once again find themselves pushing toward the SH red zone. Slagle would thread the needle to wide receiver Jeriah Griffin on a slant pass and Griffin did the rest in using his speed to race into the end zone on a 22-yard scoring reception.
Once again, the young freshman Bowers put a true foot into the point-after attempt and the Cyclones lead increased to 14-0 with 8:41 remaining before the half.
On Science Hill’s ensuing possession, the Hilltoppers tried to gain some momentum but that was short lived as EHS defensive back Eli Blevins stepped in front of a Jaysahn Swartz pass attempt and raced 31 yards untouched for a Cyclone pick-six. Bowers kick was good and the Cyclones led 21-0 with 8:41 remaining before the half.
Science Hill finally managed to put points on the board on its next drive as the Cyclone defense was caught on the back of its heels a little as Trevor Whitson was given a one-yard touchdown after the ball was initially fumbled near the goal line.
Max Turan split the uprights and the Cyclone lead was trimmed to 21-7 with 6:04 to play before intermission.
Neither team could put the ball into the end zone and the halftime score remained 21-7 at the break.
Third Quarter
After holding the ‘Toppers defensively to start the third quarter, the Cyclones went back to work utilizing a plethora of running backs to move the football down the field. Mullins tacked on his second score of the contest at the 6:02 mark to extend the Elizabethton advantage to 27-7 after Bowers PAT was blocked.
From that point, the Cyclone defense settled in and held the ‘Toppers in check while the offense managed to run the ball effectively enough to keep the SH offense grounded on the sidelines with Elizabethton taking the 27-7 victory.
In their own words
Head Coach Shawn Witten
“I think that tonight might have been the longest night ever. These guys deserve all the credit. We made so many mistakes tonight but we just kept on playing and battling. We were so prepared for tonight’s game and the defense really gave us the ball in great field position and we executed when we needed to.
“The lead really helped us. The second quarter felt like it was the longest quarter in history. Congratulations to our guys – we worked so hard to get to this moment and have come so far from last year. They took it to us last year and I think we took it to them tonight. Rhett played with consistency and the throw he made to Jeriah down the middle, I don’t know how he saw it but you just go back to you keep working, you keep working. The sky is the limit for us. We have got off to a great start and I think we have a really good team. We are going to grow and mature to keep going in the right direction.”
Defensive end Mason Ball
“We came into the game with a game plan and finished it by doing everything that we were supposed to do. Shout out to my D-tackles, they executed every play allowing for the defensive ends and linebackers to make the tackles.
“They always underestimate the Cyclones – that’s the way it has always been. The offensive line played their butts off and we have to just keep playing one game at a time and work our way toward state.”
Quarterback Rhett Slagle
“I think that we all played as a unit and played together well. We overcame a lot of our mistakes and we just played smash-mouth football. We threw it when we needed to, we executed like we had to, and what else can you ask for, we just beat Science Hill – one of our biggest rivals.
“I thought we played great as a team and the coaches made all the right calls. There was some nervousness as a 15-year-old sophomore starting in a big game like that but after the kick-off I was good. I knew we had it tonight after that first score.”
Running back Zeth Mullins
“I couldn’t have done it without the line because they got off on all the blocks and everybody played good and everybody put in a lot of effort. It felt good to get that first score because all we needed was a little bit of confidence to get going and once we got going, we couldn’t be stopped.
“They thought that because they were the bigger school they could come out here and beat us. This game puts confidence in us and now we have a target on our back as everyone will be coming for us.”
The Stats
Game Statistics
Game Statistics
                              E                      SH
FIRST DOWNS                 10                     13
PASSING (C-A-I)         7-11-0          13-20-2
PASSING YARDS             68                     62
RUSHES-YARDS        53-141           39-112
TOTAL YARDS                 209                  174
FUMBLES-LOST             1-0                   2-1
PUNTS-AVG.                   4-30             2-42.5
PENALTIES-YARDS     13-90               7-70
Individual Statistics
PASSING—EHS: Slagle 7-11-0 68 yds TD; SH: Swartz 12-19-2 61 yds, Taylor 1-1-0 0 1 yd.
RUSHING— EHS: Mullins 10-59 2 TD, Wallin 12-48, Slagle 9-23, Holzer 7-4, Griffin 2-4; SH: Emile 19-93, Swartz 9-5, Huff 5-19, Necessary 2-0, Mathes 1-2, Whitson 1-1, Taylor 1-0, Team 1-(-)6.
RECEIVING— EHS: Griffin 4-52 TD, Whaley 3-16; SH: Famoyin 5-22, Watson 4-22, McGann 3-16, Emile 1-0.
SACKS— EHS: Adams, Ball, Guess, McGovern.
INTERCEPTIONS — EHS: Blevins, Z. Wallin.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES — EHS: Blevins, J. Wallen; SH: ReSue.
Next Up
Elizabethton at Morristown West – 7 pm on Friday, August 25, 2023.

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