JV Cyclones blank Happy Valley, 27-0

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   What do the weather and the Elizabethton Cyclone junior varsity football team have in common? If you don't react quick early, you may be washed away before you know it.
   On Monday night, the skies opened up and gave the fans a good soaking before the Cyclone JV did the same as the offensive unit for the Cyclones put up 20 first-half points and the defensive unit put the finishing touches on a 27-0 win on Warrior Hill.
   The Cyclones dented the board first at the 4:59 mark of the first quarter as they used a six play drive to cover 55 yards after a Warrior fumble . Elizabethton used two nice pass plays surrounded by hard-nosed running from Ben Fields to capitalize as quarterback Jake Berkley snuck the ball in from three yards out.
   Craig Estep was good with the PAT and the Cyclones led 7-0.
   The defense rose again for the Cyclones, as a pass from Warrior QB Todd Caldwell was picked off by defensive back J.R. McFarland at Happy Valley's 21-yard line. The Cyclones appeared poised to score as they had the ball on the Warrior 4-yard line only to be pushed back two consecutive times by the staunch defense of HV, with the big play being a sack by Chris Dove on Cyclone QB Berkley on fourth down.
   After taking over possession of the ball, the Warriors were only able to move the ball a short distance from the goal line before being forced into a punting situation. Charles Peters burst through the line to pull down punter Ryan Garland who had trouble getting a hand on the ball to set the Cyclone 'O' up at the HV 10-yard line.
   Two plays later, big Jordan Bray bulled up the middle for a 8-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead after the Estep extra point was true.
   "Our line opened up some big holes for us to run through tonight," stated Jordan. "We came in focused and ready to play and I just put my trust in the guys up front."
   Elizabethton closed out the scoring in the half with Bray's brother, Aaron, taking a sweep to the left for a six-yard TD. The point after was wide and the scoreboard read 20-0 as the horn sounded.
   HV took the second half kickoff and marched to the Cyclone 40-yard line before the drive fizzled out on fourth down and the Cyclones took over in good field position. Behind Fields and J. Bray, the Cyclones moved methodically down the field with J. Bray taking it in from one yard out to give the Cyclones their final tally of 27 points after the kick was good.
   The defense of the Cyclones then took control of the game as they bent on a couple of occasions but didn't break to keep the Warriors out of the end zone. The best drive by the Warriors took place on their final drive of the contest.
   Caldwell opened his arsenal to pass the Warriors 50-yards down the field from the HV 28 to the Cyclones 22-yard line before his rifle ran out of bullets and the Cyclones took over at their own 22. Berkley took a knee to end the contest.
   "This is a big rivalry to use," added J. Bray. "Most of us knew each other growing up playing little league ball together and now we just try to outplay one another."
   One person who was obviously pleased with the Cyclone performance was head junior varsity coach Steve McKinney.
   "Offensively, we executed really well tonight with our line doing a great job plus Berkley and the backs were outstanding," said McKinney. "Defensively, this bunch likes to hit especially the Brays, Grace, and the other DB's."
   McKinney feels like these junior varsity games provide much more than just a football game.
   Said McKinney: "We don't have much practice time due to running our opponents offense and defense for the varsity, but it's like I told the kids tonight--its time for you to shine, especially because the varsity coaches are looking on. This is the place where a team molds and shapes itself into a family to carry on that Cyclone Pride."
   The Cyclones remained unbeaten in junior varsity action with the win.