Cyclone 'Frosh foil Rebels

By Ivan Sanders

STAR CORRESPONDENT

   Air Jeffers found clearance early as the Kennedy landing strip was ready to receive any incoming flights in Elizabethton last night.
   Behind the prolific arm of Weston Jeffers and the sure hands of Ryan Kennedy, the Elizabethton freshman Cyclones scored quickly and held off the late charge of a determined Sullivan South team to collect a 14-0 shutout at Brown-Childress Stadium on Thursday evening.
   Two big receptions by Kennedy in the first quarter resulted in two touchdowns on passes of 40 and 65-yards from the hand of Jeffers. From that point, the remainder of the contest was like two sets of combatants lobbing their best shots at each other defensively.
   "We come down to the field and pass around all the time," said Kennedy of his and Jeffers special chemistry. "The passes were right to me and the whole team just did a great job."
   Comparable to the Civil War era when the Rebels mounted any type of offensive attack at the Union, such was the case on this night as the Cyclones took many brutal shots but managed to stand up against the South attack at the right time to keep the scoreboard operator at ease.
   Case in point was the end of the first half when the Rebels had the ball deep in Cyclone territory with the clock ticking away toward intermission. EHS, led by the strong front line of David Lyons, Jeremy Wallen, and Logan Hyatt, laid waste to any hopes the Rebels had of scoring as they brought down the South's running back at the 18-yard line as time expired.
   "Our defensive effort was so aggressive tonight," said Cyclone head coach Ryan Witten. "Coach Wagner did a fantastic job with the defensive unit and they just played awesome."
   The Cyclones came out with a definite plan of taking the ball right at the heart of the South defense in the second half as the Rebels had a steady diet of Justin Conway and a host of other running backs. The plan seemed to work because the Cyclones were able to steadily move the ball against the Rebels while eating huge chunks of the clock, converting several fourth down plays in the process.
   "We talked a lot at the half about the holes being there to run through," stated Conway. "I got more aggressive and ran a lot harder in the second half because the line did a fantastic job of making the holes. It was a great team effort."
   The Rebels again had ample scoring opportunities in the half, penetrating as close as the 15-yard line before the Cyclones bowed their backs and stifled the drives. J.C. Atkinson also had a big part in the defensive secondary as he broke up two passes in the Rebel end zone.
   Said Witten: "I have to give J.C. the heart award because he sure played with a lot of it tonight. He shut his fingers up in the door here the other night and broke two fingers. I didn't think he would play tonight, but he told me today he was definitely going to be out there."
   Witten was also appreciative of the effort of James Peterson on the night. Peterson is a corner back for the Cyclones that plays like a big linebacker and carries on the family tradition of his brothers, Jason and Justin Grace, with a hard-nose effort.
   The final play of the game was indicative of the night for South as their last gasp to score was quenched with their big running back brought down four yards shy of the end zone. With the final horn, the freshman Cyclones celebrated their third win in four tries while running their conference record to 2-0 with four games remaining.