Betsy, Horns on top in jamboree


star staff


  The word jamboree can be defined as a large gathering of boy scouts. Thursday night at Sullivan South High School, a massive amount of Cyclones got playing time against the Sullivan Central Cougars in a showcase of Mountain Lakes Conference teams. Neither team scored in the 12-minute period.
  Expecting to participate in two quarters, the Cyclone coaching staff found out during the pre-game preliminaries that each team would only play one 12 minute quarter. Much credit is to be given to the Betsy coaching staff as over half the team saw action during the contest.
  "We tried to play as many players as we could," stated Cyclone head coach Eddie Pless. "We were going to try and get everyone in the game had we been able to play two 12 minutes periods."
  Elizabethton gave its version of the Gumby defense on Central's first possession as the Cougars burnt the Cyclone defense for a 41-yard pass play on the first possession of the period. Levi Hooton's used his speed to prevent the Cougar receiver from reaching the end zone.
  Elizabethton shut down Central's running game forcing Central to attempt a pass toward the end zone which Hooton picked off to end the threat. Betsy was three and out in its first possession including a quarterback sack on the nine-yard line.
  Central again threatened on it's second possession but the Cyclone defense got stingy and shut the door on the Cougar offense much to the delight of the orange and black faithful.
  Elizabethton mounted it's first drive on it's second series as Jake Berkley ran for seven yards followed by Justin Harmon's 17-yard scamper. Charles Peters then hit Ryan Kennedy for an eight-yard pickup before sophomore quarterback Preston Smith ripped off 12 yards taking the ball to the Central 42-yard line.
  Smith found Kennedy again for a nine-yard gain but a bad exchange resulted in a fumble, stalling Betsy's 50-yard drive at the Cougar 29. Central tried to move the pigskin but two bone-crushing tackles by Matt Fox and Corey Hilton stopped the Cougars once again leaving Cyclone fans reason to be optimistic toward the upcoming season.
  "I am pleased with our effort," Pless added. "Everyone, including my coaches, are working hard to try and bring this team together. So far these kids have done everything we've ask of them."
  Elizabethton will open their season August 27 against cross-town rival Science Hill at Brown-Childress Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
  Johnson County 16, Unicoi 0
  Johnson County took the field looking like a fine tuned machine while Unicoi looked more like the Oz Tin Man needing oil. Capped off by the running of Jeff Brinker, Ernie Hodge and Tony Smith the Longhorns shredded the Blue Devil defense for 16 points in the 12 minute period.
  Smith capped off the first score with a 5-yard run with Brinker adding the two-point conversion. The second drive saw Nathan Paisley carrying the bulk of the load with runs of 11 and 17 yards. A 35-yard touchdown by Smith was more than enough to leave area coaches impressed with the Longhorns performance.
  Johnson County opens up their 2004 football season August 27 at West Greene. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.