Jr. Cyclones cage Huskies in gridiron play

Published 12:06 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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The T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones took to the turf at Citizens Bank Stadium Thursday evening looking to keep their record unblemished on the year against the visiting Sullivan Heights Huskies from Kingsport.
Behind a legend, that being Legend Pate of course, the Jr. Cyclones blanked yet another opponent as Coach Brock Pittman’s team took care of business with a 40-0 thumping of the Huskies.
Behind three rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion from Pate, TAD ran their overall record to 4-0 on the season.
Aldo Cordell got things rolling in the game when he recovered the opening kickoff after the Huskie return man fumbled the ball away.
The highly efficient offense of the Jr. Cyclones wasted little time in finding the end zone as quarterback Brycen Blevins connected with one of his top targets in Ryan Jones for a seven-yard strike at 6:40 of the first quarter to stake the home team to a 6-0 lead after the conversion failed.
After the Jr. Cyclone defense took care of business, the offense returned to the field with the same result from the opening drive.
Pate carried the pigskin across the goal line with 1:17 left in the opening quarter to extend the lead to 12-0 as once again the two-point conversion failed.
The Jr. Cyclone defense was strong all evening as they once again forced the turnover on downs as who else but Pate would make the Huskies pay as he punched the football into pay dirt from three yards out and also converted the two-point conversion to make it a 20-0 Jr. Cyclone lead with 3;55 left before the half.
That score would stand until the end of the first half.
TAD received the opening kickoff in the second half and went straight to work as Blevins found Cordell wide open and the receiver outran the coverage 35 yards to the end zone to push the edge to 26-0 after the two-point run failed.
Pate capped off his big night by tacking on a three-yard run with 1:22 left in the third quarter. Gage Reid took care of the two-point conversion and the Jr. Cyclones led 34-0.
Reid put the candle on the cake with a 47-yard scramble with 6:05 remaining in the game to extend the TAD advantage to 40-0 which would be the final of the game.
“We played well,” said head coach Brock Pittman of his team’s performance. “We forced some turnovers on defense. We are happy to get the win and cannot wait to go to Johnson City next week.”
In the junior varsity game that followed, the Jr. Cyclones took a game-shortened victory after three quarters to also remain unbeaten in the season with a 26-0 shutout of their own.

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