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Looking to keep the streak going… Cyclones have opportunity for second straight 10-0 regular-season against Cougars

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Friday night will be a special time at Citizens Bank Stadium as the Elizabethton Cyclones will be celebrating Homecoming 2020 as well as recognizing all senior fall sport athletes along with band and chorus seniors for their contribution to Elizabethton High School during their time at the school.

Not to be overlooked is the opportunity that the Cyclones will have on the field as Elizabethton has the opportunity to complete their regular-season slate at 10-0 for the second straight year.

It would also mark the 25th straight victory for the Cyclones which is historic as well.

The Cyclones fought through a tight first quarter last week to defeat South and also took care of business against Greeneville to earn back-to-back conference championships.

Now the focus will be to take care of caging the Sullivan Central Cougars, a team much like South that will be playing their final game as a school in the contest against Elizabethton as they combine into West Ridge next season with South and North.

The Cougars slashed, ripped, and clawed Union County last week putting up over 70 points in the first half alone to close out their field and now will have to face the music against the prolific Cyclones who can score quicker than a mouse can snatch a piece of cheese from the certain death of a mousetrap.

Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten always warns his team each year these types of special nights roll around to be aware that if they don’t stay focused and execute, they might find themselves on the losing end of the stick.

Witten and his staff have done a phenomenal job in preparing the Cyclones for their upcoming opponent and this week will be no different as Elizabethton looks to roll into the playoffs in high gear.

The Cyclones will continue to lean on field general Bryson Rollins who has accumulated 693 rushing yards on 118 carries and 15 touchdowns and completed 77-of-107 passes for 1,407 yards and another 20 touchdowns against only three interceptions on the season.

Rollins is being looked at strongly as a Class 4A Mr. Football and his numbers are certainly there to prove his case.

But the great thing for Elizabethton is that they are not one dimensional as sophomore Nate Stephens has added 64 carries good for 555 yards and six scores while senior LaDarian Avery also has contributed by carrying the mail 38 times for 266 yards and six scores.

One of the main targets of Rollins during the season has been senior Parker Hughes who is 91 yards south of recording another 1,000-yards of receiving in back-to-back years. Hughes also has 13 touchdowns which is toward the top in the state in scoring receptions.

Jake Roberts has made the most of his 14 receptions on the season good for 287 yards and four scores.

As a team, the Cyclones have 1,737 yards rushing and 1,531 yards passing for a total of 2,033 yards of offense.

Defensive leaders for the Cyclones include sophomore Cade Russell who has recorded five interceptions and one sack. Hughes also has snatched three picks on the season.

Linebacker Deuce Morton has been credited with three quarterback sacks on the year while Caleb Johnson has 2.5 sacks.

And while all the stats are nice, Witten and team are looking for one more important stat – a second consecutive state championship.

For Witten, that means taking care of the Cougars and then focusing on the Region 2, 4A four-seed whoever that might be.