TAD comeback topples Vikings

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR CORRESPONDENT
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   For the first time since the Bush Administration (George H. W. Bush, that is), the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones defeated the Vance Middle Vikings in Bristol with a 22-16 comeback victory.
   T.A. Dugger last defeated Vance at Bristol in 1990 with John Hutchins as coach. The Vikings' held an impressive 136-6 scoring run over those years.
   Jr. Cyclone coach John Oakley was proud of his first win as head coach of the team.
   "We started out well," said Oakley, "We took an early lead, then we let up and eased on them. You can't let any Vance team back in the ballgame."
   T.A. Dugger started the contest off with a bang, scoring in its first two offensive possessions.
   Nick McNeil took the second play from scrimmage, and followed his line 27 yards into the end zone. A missed conversion gave T.A. Dugger a 6-0 lead.
   Vance came roaring back, but Will Sheuer saw many faces coming at him. The Jr. Cyclone front of Will Johnson, Josh Arnold, Travis Bischop, Zack Potter, Trinity Allen, and Brian Jenkins was too much early for the Vikings.
   TAD took the ball from the Viking 32, and moved the ball downfield with runs from Austin Taylor and McNeil. McNeil got the best of the Vikings with a 5-yard score, followed up by a Preston Smith to Josh Guinn pass conversion to give the Jr. 'Clones a 14-0 lead.
   The game bounced around the field throughout the second quarter before a fumble was coughed up to Blake Watson, giving Vance excellent field position at their own two yard line.
   Quarterback Stan Fransic took the ball and made an attempt at a sneak, which was called a touchdown by the official, but was clearly inches away from crossing.
   A conversion run from Fransic cut Vance within a 14-8 margin against T.A. Dugger to close out the first half.
   "Halftime was scary, because they had the momentum," said Oakley.
   Both teams battled it out in the third quarter, as defense from each squad prevailed over the other going into the fourth quarter.
   However, Vance was ready to strike, and the Viking rattlesnake took its first lead early in the period.
   With excelent field position, Tyler Stickley took two excellent runs to the house with a 13-yard gain, and a 25-yard touchdown run. A conversion run from Sheuer gave Vance the 16-14 advantage over the Jr. Cyclones.
   "They scored again and took the lead, and I just told the guys to do like the Varsity did last Friday night and come back. I think that make them tick."
   On the very next drive, T.A. Dugger took their time and conserved the clock with their march downfield. Brent Shaver made several good runs, and topped it off with a nice 26-yard score.
   However, the score came back with a penalty, but Shaver showed his stuff again, twisting up the right side of the field to take a 20-16 lead for T.A. Dugger.
   The Jr. Cyclones got a conversion from Austin Taylor, pushing the total to 22-16. Vance wasn't through, yet.
   The Vikings rallied behind Sheuer with three strong runs, but Fransic tossed one out to Drew Hyder, who picked it off and ran downfield, sealing the win for T.A. Dugger.
   Shaver led T.A. Dugger with eight carries, 67 yards and a score, while Nick McNeil gathered 63 yards on six carries and two scores. Vance was led by Will Sheuer who ran seven times for 48-yards and a score.
   The Jr. Cyclones host Boones Creek Middle this Thursday night, gametime is 6:30.