Cyclones stifle Trailblazers

Photo By Kristen
Luther Brad Osborne accounted for a Cyclone touchdown on Friday night.

By Seth Bartee
STAR Correspondent
GRAY--Elizabethton High School pumps out football talent like Pittsburgh produces steel. Not only is EHS known for phenomenal football but phenomenal leadership as well. Put these two things together and you have equaled another Cyclones win and moral victory.
The Elizabethton Cyclones beat Daniel Boone 29-6 Friday night at Hale Stadium to up their record 3-4 overall, and more importantly, 3-1 in the Mountain Lakes Conference. The win is only half the story as head coach Tommy Jenkins was on the sidelines rooting his players on.
Coach Jenkins was believed to have a malignant tumor located in the pancreatic region of his body. Results proved otherwise on Friday.
"I received the results today that the tumor was benign," said Jenkins. "I've been praying and crying and I'm proud of this team."
Jenkins had a lot to be proud of as his team played dominantly on offense and defense in Gray Friday.
EHS had 211 yards rushing, led by senior Lester Bailey. Bailey had 12 rushes for 88 yards going through the Daniel Boone defense like a hot knife.
"It helped us to know that Coach Jenkins had a positive report," said Bailey. "It was on our minds last game that coach was not doing well. He told us to be strong and we did our job tonight."
The first quarter was scoreless but in the second quarter the Cyclones would not look back after taking the lead. Justin Grace struck paydirt for the Cyclones first when he scored on a one-yard run, and Brian Freeman's extra-point kick made the game 7-0.
The Cyclones were also helped out by the great punting game of Brandon Blevins. Blevins booted the ball 50 yards in the second quarter to put the Blazers deep in their own territory.
Lester Bailey scored next for the Cyclones on a reverse play that saw him run 38 yards for a touchdown.
"I got some great blocks out there tonight," said Bailey. "I just followed Adam Turley while he blocked for me."
"In all my coaching career I have never seen blocking like I did from Adam Turley tonight," said Jenkins.
Turley played like a professional Friday as he blocked for his runners.
"Adam blocked for 15 yards to help Lester score," Jenkins said.
On a bad punt snap in the second quarter, Boone kicked the ball out of the end zone and it resulted in a safety for the Cyclones.
When the first half came to a close, Elizabethton was leading Daniel Boone 15-0. They had 86 rushing yards and 92 yards of total offense.
The third quarter saw EHS start where it left off. Lester Bailey rushed for a five-yard touchdown to put the Cyclones up 22-0 on a 5:59 drive to the end zone.
"Any night in this league is tough," said Daniel Boone head coach Carl Richards. "Elizabethton is a great team but we failed to score on the turnovers."
Brad Osborne put the nail in the coffin for the Cyclones as he scored on a one-yard run, putting EHS up 29-0. Eddie Pless, while filling in for Coach Jenkins, said he was pleased with the game and the pressure the defense put on Boone.
"I'm pleased with our overall effort," said Pless.
But the main story continued to be the presence of Jenkins on the sidelines.
"I cannot imagine the team not being affected by the good news given to Coach Jenkins," said Pless. "It was a challenge to them to fight hard, just as he is doing."
Daniel Boone did manage to get on the board in the fourth quarter as Ben Fox connected with Josh Sturgill for a touchdown.
"I knew we had to make something happen early and the fumbles hurt us," said Richards. "We need to take better care of the football."
The Cyclones won a game that helped them recover from a loss last week to East High School. The Blazers have never beaten EHS and some thought this might be the game to break the string of losses for them.
But a storybook ending on this one prevailed for the Cyclones. A healthy, happy and robust Tommy Jenkins thanked God after the game for his positive results.
The Cyclones, if they remain unbeaten the rest of the way, can win the conference title. The Cyclones will face Johnson County at home on Oct. 17.