Elizabethton’s Corey Russell made sure the Cyclones didn’t miss a beat.
Russell and company rolled to a 48-19 victory over McMinn Central in the Class 3A playoffs inside Citizen’s Bank Stadium.
Elizabethton will host CAK in the second round next Friday night.
The sophomore Russell moved from his customary running back spot to quarterback in relief of Carter Everett – who will miss the playoffs due to injury. It didn’t take long for Russell to adjust as he scored on a five-yard touchdown run after a lengthy return on the opening kickoff.
The Cyclones increased the lead to 14-0 before two minutes had ran off the clock when Evan Perkins caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Russell. Jacob Turner scored on a 24-yard run to give EHS a 21-0 lead after a quarter of play.
Logan Norman and Turner scored in the second quarter on short runs, and Conner Johnson took a screen to the house from 42 yards out. After a McMinn Central score, the Cyclones held a 42-6 lead at the half.
Russell hit Evan Sewell for a 12-yard pass to cap the scoring in the third quarter.
Russell had 293 total offensive yards (175 passing, 118 rushing) in the game. Turner recorded seven carries for 79 yards in the game. Johnson added 89 yards receiving to the Cyclone cause.