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Cyclones Unable To Rally Past Hilltoppers

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Elizabethton came up short on Friday night.

The Cyclones dropped a 17-7 decision to Science Hill inside Citizens Bank Stadium in the season opener.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak against the Hilltoppers.

It was a battle from the opening kick.

Elizabethton moved the ball on the opening drive with a Jerriah Griffin 30-yard pass to Teddy Orton and some nifty running from Cade Russell. The Cyclones moved the ball to the SH 16, but were unable to get any closer and missed a field goal.

Science Hill moved the ball to midfield on the next drive, but Cameron Baker nabbed an interception that stopped the run.

The Hilltoppers, however, repaid the favor as Steven Famoyin jumped in front of an EHS pass – which set-up a five-yard touchdown from Jaysahn Swartz to give SH a 7-0 lead.

After a blocked Elizabethton punt, Javin Chester scored on a five-yard run to give the Hilltoppers a 14-0 lead with 9:27 left to play in the first half.

The game had a turning point when Science Hill center Kellen Hensley was ejected for targeting on Elizabethton’s Cade Russell as he called for a fair catch on a punt. Russell did not return to the game.

The Cyclones used that as motivation and drove to cut the lead in half as Griffin found Orton for a 45-yard touchdown to trim the EHS lead to 14-7 at the half.

In the second half, the defenses rose to the occasion.

EHS was limited to just two first downs in the half, while Science Hill was only able to add a field goal.

Elizabethton continued to battle in the closing stages but was unable to mount a comeback.

Griffin was 8-of-12 passing for 89 yards and added 17 carries for 38 yards. Orton had three catches for 77 yards.

Nate Stephens had 40 yards on nine carries.

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