In a Friday night battle of unbeatens, something had to give between two of the top teams in Class 4A.
Elizabethton dropped a hard-fought 35-20 decision to the Greene Devils in a class of the No. 1 and No. 3 Class 4A teams in the state. It was the first loss of the season for EHS.
The Cyclones saw Greeneville jump out early.
The Greene Devils took a 7-0 lead with just under five minutes to play in the first quarter as Cade Ballard scored on a 14-yard touchdown run. Elizabethton, however, answered quickly as Carter Everett hit Parker Hughes for a 72-yard touchdown 31 seconds later as EHS tied the game.
GHS scored in the final minute of the first to take a 14-7 lead into the second quarter. After Ballard added to the Greeneville lead with a short touchdown, the Elizabethton offense found traction once again. Corey Russell hit Evan Perkins for a six-yard touchdown, but the extra point was blocked as EHS trimmed the lead to 21-13 with 4:17 left in the half.
Greeneville marched down the field, but EHS held strong at the end of the half keeping Greeneville out of the end zone as time expired with the Cyclones trailing 21-13.
The Greene Devil offense scored on the first drive of the second half as Ballard hit Cameron Hit for a 34-yard touchdown to push the lead to 15 points. Elizabethton didn’t back down however.
Russell threw for his second touchdown fo the night – this one on a wide receiver pass – as he hit Bryson Rollins for the score. That scored pulled EHS to within eight points going to the fourth quarter.
Greeneville added another touchdown midway through the stanza. Elizabethton marched down the field later in the quarter and got inside the Greeneville 20, but was unable to convert a fourth-and-two to cut the deficit back to one score.
Everett finished the game 20-of-32 for 261 yards and a touchdown. Russell ended the game 2-for-2 passing for 21 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Russell was also the leading EHS receiver as he caught nine passes for 115 yards, while Parker Hughes had three catches for 91 yards. Evan Perkins finished with 30 yards receiving on three catches.
Austin Outland led EHS in rushing as he had five carries for 22 yards.
Ballard was 18-of-21 for 215 yards and a score through the air for Greeneville, while he also added 100 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Ty Youngblood had 96 yards on 11 carries, while Dorien Goddard had 13 catches for 122 yards.
Elizabethton returns to action next Friday as they travel to Sullivan South.
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