Elizabethton came up short in a heartbreaker Friday night.
The Cyclones dropped a hard-fought 35-34 overtime decision to Anderson County on the road in nonconference play.
It was a thriller from the start.
The Mavs opened the scoring on their opening drive as Walker Martinez hit Tate Russell for a 51-yard score.
Elizabethton didn’t take long to answer.
On fourth down, Gib Maupin hit Luke Whaley for a 20-yard touchdown to tie things up at 7-7 with just under four minutes left to play in the first quarter.
The teams went into the second tied at seven apiece.
The Cyclone defense limited Anderson County in the second quarter – including a big fourth down stop from the EHS 27.
Elizabethton took a 14-7 lead with 7:06 left in the half as Corey Russell scored from a yard out.
The Cyclones weren’t done yet as the Cyclone defense forced and Wesley Shankles recovered an Anderson County fumble at midfield, and took advantage as Cam Baker caught a Dalton Mitchell pass for a 10-yard touchdown.
That score sent EHS into the locker room with a 21-7 advantage.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, the Cyclone defense forced an Anderson County punt, but the EHS offense was unable to capitalize as they were stopped on fourth down just outside the red zone.
The Mavericks cut into the lead with a short touchdown run by Nick Moog, and then Anderson County tied things up as Martinez threw his second touchdown of the night to tie the game up at 21-21 after three complete quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Elizabethton broke the stalemate as Nate Stephens scored on a short run with 6:30 left to reclaim the lead for the Orange and Black.
Anderson County, however, countered quickly with another Martinez touchdown with 3:42 left to tie the game.
The closing minutes saw Elizabethton move into scoring position, but the Cyclones were unable to get on the board in the closing seconds as regulation ended tied at 28-28.
In overtime, Anderson County had possession first and scored on their first play as Martinez hit Bryson Vowel for a touchdown.
Elizabethton answered quickly on their possession as Stephens scored on the Cyclones’ first play of the extra period.
EHS looked to take the win going for two, but the Cyclones were stopped inches from the goal line.
Stephens had 183 yards on 22 carries for Elizabethton, while Mitchell was 11-of-17 passing for 67 yards.