Cyclone frosh lose tight-fisted affair with THS


Photo by Dave Boyd Elizabethton fullback Justin Harmon pounds the middle.

By Ivan Sanders
STAR STAFF
isanders@starhq.com
Ice packs and Tylenol were needed on Thursday night at Brown-Childress Stadium as the Elizabethton freshmen and the visiting Tennessee High Vikings locked horns in a game filled will pad-clashing shots and bruising tackles.
The Vikings managed to sneak in the only score of the contest to take an action-packed 7-0 victory over Coach Ryan Witten's Cyclone team.
"I didn't push them hard enough in practice," said a dejected Witten after the game. "I really thought we could punch it in, but Tennessee High stuck us early. We just wasn't ready to go."
The Cyclones were able to get several drives going nearly eight to 10 plays each, but when it came down to crunch time the Vikes sucked the wind out of the Cyclones' sails.
Tennessee High scored the game's only points on its second possession in the third quarter. Tyler Stickley took a handoff at his own 15-yard line and burst through the line down the Vikes' side of the field.
Defensive back Brandon Medina made a lunging attempt at the speedy Stickley, but determination carried the back into the end zone for the touchdown.
The extra-point attempt was good and the Vikings took a lead that would stand the rest of the contest.
"I was really pleased with our defensive effort and thought the defense pulled us out of some tough situations tonight," said Vike head coach Trea Leonard. "Elizabethton has a fine football team and did what they had to do, but overall our team responded when we needed to."
The Cyclones had one last shot with only four seconds remaining in the game, but Preston Smith's pass bounced off his receiver's head and fell incomplete as the horn sounded.
Defensively for the Cyclones, Justin Palmer had two big fumble recoveries and several tackles. Nick McNeil, Jeremiah Gale, Andrew Kennedy, Brent Shaver and Travis Bishop had solid games for EHS as well.
Shaver was the workhorse from the offensive side, carrying the ball 24 times for 87 yards while fullback Justin Harmon issued some bruising knocks as he bulled through the line for 48 hard-fought yards.
Josh Hutchins contributed by reeling in three receptions for 20 yards.
Elizabethton fell to 1-1 on the season while Tennessee High, with the contest being the first of the season for the Vikings, goes to 1-0.