Running the white flag up the pole… Chiefs surrender at the half in Cyclones 56-0 romp
BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ROGERSVILLE – The Cherokee Chiefs could sympathize with how the Indians felt in the early western movies when John Wayne rode in on his stead with the calvary in tow.
Just as the movie Indians did when they tied a white surrender flag to a stick and wave with all their might, the same held true for the Chiefs as after halftime instead of playing full 12 minute quarters they made the decision that they only wanted to play the second half with an eight minute running clock in quarters three and four.
The reason was pretty evident after the Elizabethton Cyclones blew into Rogersville and after a few blunders in the Chiefs opening drive that allowed the home team to pick up a couple of first downs, the Cyclones chomped down like a bear trap the rest of the way building a 42-0 halftime advantage and cruising to a 56-0 spanking of the Chiefs.
With the win, the Cyclones extended their current winning streak to 20 straight games dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
It was the Rollins-Hughes connection that turned the game on its ear in the first quarter of action as Cyclone quarterback Bryson Rollins found his favorite receiver, Parker Hughes, for a 38-yard scoring strike at 9:10 on the game clock in the opening quarter.
Sean Smithdeal continued his good work on the season splitting the uprights to make it a 7-0 Cyclone lead.
With the Cyclone defense made strong stands, the Cyclones managed to score again with eight seconds on the clock when Rollins rolled into the end zone on a one-yard rush to extend the lead to 14-0 on Smithdeal’s boot.
On the ensuing kickoff, Smithdeal made the perfect onside kick recovered by the Cyclones and while many thought EHS was set to open the second quarter in good field position, it was far from that.
Rollins once again put the ball in playmaker Hughes’ hands and the senior did the rest as the Cyclones scored as the clock expired in the opening quarter.
The PAT by Smithdeal was good and the scoreboard read 21-0 heading into the second quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Cyclones to flip the score again as Rollins continued to spread the wealth finding Jordan Killion on an 11-yard scoring toss with 10:23 remaining in the first half. Smithdeal’s PAT was good and it was 28-0.
The Cyclone defense was outstanding the entire contest getting the ball back into the offense’s hands.
LaDarian Avery got into the scoring act with 4:30 left on the clock when he lowered the pads and bowled over top of a Chiefs defender from three yards to make it a 35-0 game on Smithdeal’s PAT.
Rollins added his second rushing touchdown of the contest on a three-yard dash with under two minutes left in the half. Smithdeal’s boot made it 42-0 at the break.
With the shorter quarters in the second half, Rollins scored on a seven-yard run in the third quarter while Dalton Mitchell connected with Nic Vanover on a 14-yard scoring toss in the fourth quarter with 2:30 left in the game.
Smithdeal converted both point-afters for the final margin of victory.
Rollins finished the game 9-of-11 for 224 yards and the three touchdown tosses. He also added eight carries for 57 yards and three scores on the ground.
Nate Stephens added five carries for 52 yards as EHS tallied 21 carries for 148 yards on the ground en route to finishing with 393 yards of total offense to only 49 for Cherokee.
Hughes caught four balls for 126 yards and two scores. Jake Roberts added two catches for 52 yards.
Cherokee had eight passing yards and 41 rushing yards in the contest.
Elizabethton will be back at Citizens Bank Stadium after three road games next week against William Blount with a 7:30 pm kickoff scheduled.