'Betsy beaten by Indians

By Allen LaMountain


   KINGSPORT -- By playing tough, tenacious defense the Elizabethton Cyclone soccer squad kept 3A powerhouse Dobyns-Bennett at bay for 31 minutes on Friday night at Highland Park.
   It is an 80-minute game however, and in those final 49 minutes the Indians showed the young Cyclones (1-3) a thing or two about how to finish off plays in a 9-0 whitewashing that improved D-B to 3-0 on the young season.
   To their credit the Cyclones played toe-to-toe with the more polished and much deeper Indians before senior goalkeeper Charlie Crowe was injured when he was struck in the head with a knee and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
   "It looks right now that it is precautionary," said Cyclones head coach Bill McClay as he addressed his team after Crowe was struck down early in the second half. "He has feeling and movement in his hands and feet. He took a blow to the head so in these cases we take a lot of precaution."
   The Tribe was held in check by Crowe and by the EHS backline who did a fine job of cutting off any Dobyns-Bennett scoring chances for the first 30 minutes of play. In the 31st minute however junior forward Phillip McCloskey banged home an unassisted goal to give the Indians a 1-nil advantage.
   In the 38th minute Brice Jones tallied a goal off a nice lead pass from Ben Cotey to stake the Tribe to a 2-nil lead, and just before the half ended D-B took a 3-nil lead into the break as Tim Weatherford scored with an assist going to McCloskey.
   "For the first 30 minutes or so we played as well as we are capable of playing," said McClay. "We battled and made some good defensive plays and had an opportunity or two to score. When Charlie got hurt it took a lot of wind out of our sails, and things kind of fell apart from there."
   The play on which Crowe was injured showed the kind of leader he has been thusfar during the season as he came out to challenge a shot by Jones but the ball eluded his grasp and rolled out in front of the goal.
   Robert Stratton -- who was crashing hard -- sent a right-footed blast that hit the top crossbar, but when he planted his right foot he came up with his left catching Crowe on the jaw and knocking him sprawling to the turf. Weatherford knocked the loose ball into the net as Crowe lay prone in his goal crease and concerned coaches and officials rushed out to check on his condition.
   "That's the kind of thing you hate to see," said Indians head coach Bill McCloskey. "EHS was playing a great game at the time and they were right in the match. You hate to have a game turn on something like that, and see a team lose a competitive player."
   When play resumed the Cyclones had a decided 'deer in the headlights' look and D-B was quick to pounce on the deflated 'Betsy squad as the Tribe scored three goals in the next 12 minutes against beleaguered backup keeper Daniel Wagner.
   Scott Brown tallied a goal as did Cotey and R.C. Horton as Dobyns-Bennett made it a 7-nil game with 15-minutes still remaining.
   "I wouldn't call our effort tonight precise," joked McCloskey. "That is definitely not a word I would use to describe our play. But, it's early in the season and we are still trying to find the right combination of things. We need to continue to work hard - and it has been there in spurts - but that won't get us where we want to be."
   Daniel Cheng and Jones each scored for the Tribe in the closing minutes of play for the final tally as the home-standing Indians out-shot Betsy 24-2 in the contest.