Jr. Cyclones drop heartbreaker to Jr. Green Devils on the road

Published 10:58 am Friday, September 29, 2023

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The top two middle school teams in the area met to settle the question of who was going to walk from Burley Stadium without a loss as the season prepares to wrap up next week.

After butting heads for 24 minutes of football, Greeneville stopped the Jr. Cyclones on fourth down with under one minute to play to take a 22-16 victory.

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And while the battle surrounded two great football teams, the game came down to a battle between the two opposing running backs in the Jr. Cyclones Legend Pate and Greeneville’s Donovan Sanchez.

Sanchez drew first blood for his Green Devils when he rumbled in from six yards with 5:06 to play in the first quarter. Sanchez followed up the touchdown with a two-point conversion to make it an 8-0 game.

Needing an answer, the Jr. Cyclones made a huge stop just before the half shutting down Greeneville on the six-inch line and needing 99 yards to get on the scoreboard.

Utilizing a mix of run and pass, the Jr. Cyclones moved steadily up the field with a big play coming on a Brycen Blevins to Lennox Loveday 31-yard pass reception. Legend Pate bullied his way into the end zone from four yards out with 1:55 left for his 14th touchdown of the season before the half. Pate took care of the two-point conversion and the game was tied at 8-8.

The half ended with the score tied at 8-8.

Greeneville got the first break of the second half when the opening kickoff bounced off a Jr. Cyclone player and was recovered by the Green Devils.

A Zy Neal two-yard run put the home team back in front 16-8 after Sanchez converted the two-point conversion just 58 seconds into the third quarter.

In Jr. Cyclone fashion, TAD came storming back as Blevins connected with Aldo Cordell on a 21-yard scoring pass with 4:55 left in the game. Pate lugged the ball over the goal line to even the game at 16-16.

Greeneville’s Neal appeared to score on the ensuing kickoff but a personal foul against the Green Devils brought the ball back to the TAD 36-yard line.

The Green Devils quarterback Spradlin put his team ahead for good when he scrambled around the end and into the end zone with 2:23 remaining in the game. The two-point conversion failed and the scoreboard read 22-16.

Needing a score to tie, the Jr. Cyclones moved down the field and were facing a fourth down situation. Blevins attempted to hit his receiver but the ball fell off the receiver’s fingertips allowing Greeneville to run out the clock for the 22-16 win.