Elizabethton hit the gas pedal and never looked back.
The Cyclones cruised to a 56-34 victory over East Ridge in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs inside Citizens Bank Stadium. Elizabethton, who won their 26th consecutive game, will host East Hamilton in the second round next Friday night.
In the early going, it was all Elizabethton.
The Cyclones got on the board when Bryson Rollins connected with Parker Hughes in the corner for the score and Sean Smithdeal added the extra point to give EHS a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game. After the Elizabethton defense set the tone with a Blake Stewart fumble recovery, Nate Stephens capped off the ensuing drive with a short touchdown to push the lead to 14-0.
The Cyclones added a 16-yard touchdown from Parker Hughes and Rollins connected with Jake Roberts to take a 28-0 lead into the second quarter.
After the Pioneers got on the board to open the second quarter, the Cyclones went back to work with another Hughes touchdown with 8:39 left to play in the half. Elizabethton continued to hold the momentum as Stevens scored on a 34-yard run and Rollins and Hughes connected again to take a 49-7 lead at the half.
The lone second-half touchdown for the Cyclones came when Jordan Killion hauled in a 51-yard pass for a touchdown from Rollins.
Rollins finished 13-of-18 for 283 yards with five touchdowns on the night. Hughes finished the game with six catches for 147 yards along with 47 yards rushing on five carries.
Stephens had 11 carries for 89 yards, while Braden Holly added 38 yards receiving. Stewart led the EHS defense with 10 tackles. Trenton Taylor and Hayden Nave added seven and six tackles, respectively.
Smithdeal was a perfect 8-for-8 on extra points.
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