Cyclones thwart Boone upset bid during Homecoming 2021
BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
Any time Elizabethton and Daniel Boone hook up on the gridiron, fans can’t walk away feeling like they got cheated for the price they paid for a ticket.
In another tight game between the two teams, the game came down to the final seconds with quarterback Bryson Rollins taking a knee three times to close the game out and allowing the Cyclone faithful to take a deep sigh as the Cyclones walked off the field at Citizens Bank Stadium with a hard-fought 20-13 victory.
It was a gut-check contest for the Cyclones after losing their first game in 32 tries last week to Greeneville.
After a scoreless first quarter, it was the Cyclones who drew first blood in the contest as senior quarterback Bryson Rollins scored on a two-yard run with 8:07 left before the half to stake Elizabethton on top 6-0 after the PAT failed.
Boone quickly answered back in a highlight reel fashion as quarterback Aiden Riner found Landon Kirkpatrick on a 68-yard bomb to edge the Trailblazers out front 7-6 after Ben Shrewsbury kick split the uprights.
The half ended with Boone leading 7-6 and Cyclone Nation needing a breather to take in what they had just seen in the first 24 minutes of action.
During the half, the EHS student body celebrated Homecoming 2021 with the naming of Morgan Guinn as the 2021 Homecoming Queen. Guinn was escorted by Ethan Meier.
The Homecoming Court was made up of first runner-up Chloe Force, second runner-up Kaylee Hollifield, and third runner-up Cagney Bennett.
Needing a wake-up call, one must have come during intermission as the Cyclones came out ready to play.
It was Boone, however, that added to the scoreboard first as Luke Jenkins crashed over from the two-yard line to push the Blazer lead to 13-6 after the PAT was blocked.
On the ensuing possession, it was Jake Roberts time to shine as the senior wide receiver leaped heavenward to haul in a 25-yard pass from Rollins over top of a Boone defender to make the score at 13-12.
Needing the all-important point-after, Sean Smithdeal stoked the ball straight down the middle of the goal post to pull the teams even at 13.
With the momentum pendulum swinging to the Cyclones side of the field, Rollins tacked on a second score by rambling 23 yards to pay dirt just 56 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Smithdeal kicked the PAT and the Cyclones led 20-13.
From that point, the game rested on the shoulders of the defense and the team led by senior Trenton Taylor and Drew Turner up front didn’t disappoint as the Cyclone defense bent a couple of times but never broke in holding off the Blazers for the Homecoming win.
Rollins led the Cyclones offensively for the second straight week as the quarterback carried 21 times for 159 yards and the two touchdowns. Cade Russell was the second Cyclone to hit 100 yards rushing as he carried the pigskin 18 times for an even 100 yards.
Kaleb Holzer and Nate Stephens added some valuable carries as well.
Rollins also was 5-of-10 passing for 60 yards and the one score.
Riner led Boone with 99 yards and the score on 10 touches.
The Cyclones (2-1) will be on the road next week at Grainger for a conference tilt with the Grizzlies. Kickoff is 7:30 pm in Rutledge.
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