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Cyclones crush Cougars to close regular season

Douglas Fritz • Updated Oct 26, 2018 at 12:43 PM

ELIZABETHTON — One play, 73 yards, touchdown, and Elizabethton never looked back.

The Cyclones rang up 37 first-quarter points and breezed past Sullivan Central in a 51-13 decision at Citizens Bank Stadium on Thursday night.

Elizabethton finished the regular season with a record of 9-1, and will play next week in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.

“It was a good way to cap off at 9-1,” said Cyclones’ head coach Shawn Witten, whose team finished 5-1 in Region 1-4A. “The guys have done everything we’ve asked them to do. We’ve really played well in the big football games, and they’ve accepted every challenge that faced them. Tonight was about 17 seniors. We’ve got a lot of guys who have played a lot of games. We’re excited about entering the postseason.”

It was the 39th loss in 40 games for the Cougars, who finished their season with a record of 1-9.

THE FIRST PLAY

Elizabethton didn’t waste any time. Figuring quarterback Carter Everett would have plenty of time to throw, the Cyclones called for a deep ball in the first play from scrimmage. Everett hit Evan Perkins right in the hands, and Perkins broke free of the defender for the long score.

It was Everett’s 81st passing touchdown of his career, moving him into the top 10 on the state’s all-time list.

Everett was 9 of 9 passing for 155 yards. Perkins caught four balls for 111 yards.

QUICK SCORES

The Cyclones didn’t waste time expanding their lead. Corey Russell picked off a pass, and Austin Outland capped off a short drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

On the Cougars’ next possession, Perkins stepped in front of a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion made it 22-0.

The Cyclones got it back and scored on the first play with Outland running 54 yards into the end zone. Again Elizabethton went for a 2-point conversion to make it 30-0.

The final first-quarter score was a quarterback keeper with Russell running left and then beating the defense to the right sideline, breaking free for a 72-yard touchdown and a 37-0 advantage.

OTHER SCORES

Lineman Clay Gwinn got into the action with a 1-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

“It has been a tradition on Senior Night to get some of the offensive linemen a touchdown,” said Gwinn. “I was fortunate enough to be able to get one tonight.”

Bryson Rollins scored from 10 yards out in the third quarter to make it 51-0.

CENTRAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Cougars got a pair of fourth-quarter scores with backup quarterback Will Nottingham hitting Ben Williams for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Nothingham rushed for 71 yards and passed for 54 more in relief of the injured Jackson Harrison.

Then, with 22 seconds left in the game, big Gavin Rupe got the carry and scored from two yards out.

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