Brown runs wild as Cyclones roll past East, 48-20

By Allen LaMountain
ASST.SPORTS EDITOR
awlamountain@starhq.com

   An up-and-coming Sullivan East program saw on Friday night just what it takes to get to the next level. The Patriots learned that players -- quality players -- are what you have to have, and the Elizabethton Cyclones have two of the best in the region in senior tailback Walter Brown and linebacker Vince Redd.
   At Brown-Childress Stadium on homecoming, Brown ravaged the Patriots defense for 362 all-purpose yards and accounted for four of Betsy's seven touchdowns in a 48-20 Mountain Lakes romp.
   "When the line is blocking as well and as hard as they did tonight, all you can do is run," said Brown, who rushed for 286 yards and three scores and threw for another. "There were a lot of distractions at school this week with Homecoming and all, but the team did a good job of staying focused."
   Redd, for his part, was unblockable in the Cyclone defense, making 12 solo tackles and being involved in several more despite playing just three quarters of the contest. Redd also displayed good hands on a 34-yard touchdown grab that sealed the victory for Betsy.
   "Those two guys we just couldn't handle," commented Patriots head coach Ralph Nelson Jr. "That number 20 (Brown) is as good as I have seen. With his speed and moves he was hard to contain. I felt like my team came out ready to play, but when you have players the caliber EHS does it makes it difficult."
   The Cyclones first offensive possession saw 'Betsy put a touchdown on the scoreboard in two plays as Brown bolted off the right side of the East defense and rambled 45 yards to the games first score, and a 7-0 EHS lead.
   After forcing a Patriots punt, Brown went right back to work after Betsy took possession at the 19-yard line. Brown capped a three-play, 82-yard drive with a 54-yard gallop to give EHS a two touchdown lead.
   "The biggest improvements in Walter's game is that he has gotten much stronger," said Cyclones head coach Tommy Jenkins. "He sees the field so well and that helps him make better decisions on where to go with it. He's right at the top of his game right now."
   East responded however with their best drive of the night to make it a 14-6 contest just minutes later as sophomore quarterback Matt Eads scored on a 14-yard run to cap a six-play, 78-yard drive.
   On that drive East used a lot of the Tennessee High playbook, with lots of mis-direction. And it worked for a while until Redd began to sniff out the ball carrier and shed potential East blockers.
   "We got ourselves into too many passing situation for our young QB to handle," said Nelson. "But EHS did a good job on the stopping run after that one good drive we had. We knew we were in trouble at that point, because EHS knew we had to pass and (Redd) was stuffing our running game."
   The Cyclones put two scores on the board in the second period to take a 28-6 lead into the break, as Adam Turley was on the receiving end of a 30-yard scoring pass from Brown to give Betsy a 21-6 lead.
   Brown also scored on a 71-yard jaunt to close out the first half.
   "I was pleased to get some of our young guys on the field in the second half," said Jenkins. "It always helps to see what you have when your second unit is up against the opponents first unit. I think the guys responded well."
   'Betsy put the game out of reach in the third period as Brown returned a punt 48 yards to the Sullivan East four yard line from where he blasted to paydirt on the very next play as EHS built a 35-6 advantage.
   "East has improved a lot in one year," said Cyclone senior safety Michael Porter. "Their head coach did a good job. They weren't afraid to play us. They just couldn't stop Walter all night. He wore them out."
   On 'Betsy's next possession Redd literally carried or dragged two defenders with him into the endzone after taking a short pass from Cyclone QB Ryan Curtis on the visitors sidelines. Redd gathered in the toss inside the Patriots 20-yard line, split two defenders and carried the rest on his back the last five yards as he simply refused to go down.
   Redd's score gave Betsy a 42-6 lead and for all intents and purposes this game was over as the Cyclone second unit went the rest of the way.
   Tailbacks Ben Fields and Aaron Bray were solid for the Cyclones in the fourth quarter - as was junior fullback Justin Grace. Fields rushed for 57-yards on eight carries and Grace capped the Elizabethton scoring with a six-yard touchdown blast. Junior QB Brad Osborne ran well, rushing for 27-yards on three tries for the Cyclones.
   East didn't roll over however as senior tailback Josh Wright scored two touchdowns in the final stanza. Wright capped a 10-play, 52-yard drive with a 14-yard scamper and also showed some speed on a 78-yard scoring romp.
   Wright finished with 149-yards on 11 carries, while fullback Donnie Rader rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries and Eads tallied 47 yards from scrimmage.
   "Coach Nelson has them playing extremely hard," Jenkins said. "We made some mistakes tonight, but not enough to hurt us. We put some pressure on the young quarterback and confused him some. I was pleased with the effort."