Elizabethton opened the season with a statement.
The Cyclones battled back to take a thrilling 36-34 victory over Class 6A Science Hill on Friday night in Elizabethton. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak to the neighboring Hilltoppers.
In the early going, it was all Elizabethton for most of the second quarter. Corey Russell opened the scoring with a short touchdown, and Jaxton Holly – who added the extra point on the previous touchdown – kicked a 33-yard field goal after an onside kick by EHS.
After Austin Outland picked off a Science Hill pass, Carter Everett hit Parker Hughes for a touchdown to give EHS a 17-0 advantage.
The Hilltoppers, however, answered late the frame to close the gap to 17-7.
In the second half, Science Hill found their footing as they scored three touchdowns to take a 28-17 advantage midway through the fourth quarter.
The Cyclones, however, weren’t going down without a fight.
Russell found Hughes on a double pass that set-up EHS in scoring position which Everett took advantage up to close the SH lead to five points. After a strong defensive stand, Elizabethton saw Hughes catch an Everett pass to take a 29-28 advantage with just over three minutes to play.
Another EHS defensive stand set-up a Russell touchdown to give the Cyclones an eight-point advantage with just over a minute to play.
The Hilltoppers went to work in the final minute as AJ Stewart found Clifton Maxwell fora 32-yard touchdown with just under 15 seconds to play. A pair of penalties derailed the two-point conversion, but Science Hill was able to hop on the onside kick.
A sack on the final play ended the game and sparked off the celebration amongst the ‘Betsy faithful.
Russell finished with 113 all-purpose yards, while Everett was 10-of-20 for 98 yards. Hughes finished with five catches for 96 yards.
Elizabethton is set to build off the win as they welcome South Greene to Elizabethton next Friday night for Week 2 action.
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