Jr. Cyclones close out successful 2023 campaign with win

Published 11:07 am Friday, October 6, 2023

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones celebrated 8th Grade Night by closing out their 2023 football season with a resounding victory over the visiting Tennessee Middle Jr. Vikings played before a large crowd with the TAD band also present.

After a tight first half that saw the Jr. Cyclones build a 12-0 lead by the half, the Jr. Cyclones closed out the game on a strong note by taking a 34-8 victory.

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Legend Pate was once again the go-to guy for the Jr. Cyclones as the running back accounted for both first half scores. Pate scored the first touchdown from 15 yards out with 4:20 showing on the first quarter clock and followed that one up with a three-yard plunge with 24 seconds remaining before the halftime horn sounded at Citizens Bank Stadium.

Neither two-point conversions were successful after the scores.

Pate added his third score of the contest 3:42 into the third quarter on a six-yard burst. Brycen Blevins pass to Aldo Cordell was good on the two-point try and the Jr. Cyclone lead ballooned to 20-0.

The Jr. Vikings added their lone score less than a minute after the Pate score to narrow the gap to 20-8 in the third.

With the score remaining 20-8 going to the final eight minutes of action, Ryan Jones took the spotlight in the final quarter as the hard-running hybrid offensive played stepped from his wide receiver spot to running back to score twice in the quarter.

Jones scored his first touchdown on a one-yard plunge just six seconds into the quarter and then capped off the night by adding a two-yard run with 57 seconds remaining to play.

The first two-point conversion failed but Noah Singleton did successfully complete the second to give the game its final score of 34-8.

“I am really proud of the way that our kids responded to last week’s loss,” said head coach Brock Pittman. “We beat a really good and well coached Bristol team. Both our varsity and junior varsity finished 7-1 on the season. We are sending 34 solid eighth graders up to the high school next year and we’re really proud of the time and effort that they put in. The future of Cyclone football is definitely bright.”