By Tim Chambers
Death and taxes are a given in life. You can throw in Elizabethton winning the Region 3-A football championship without ever being tested in 2016.
The Cyclones scored early and often Friday night in their 47-0 blowout victory over Johnson County on Harold Arnold Field.
It was total domination by ‘Betsy who was coming off a double-overtime loss to Science Hill. The Cyclones rang up 526 yards of total offense while pitching the shutout.
It was the third consecutive time that the Longhorns have lost to a state ranked opponent. Hampton and the Cyclones are ranked No. 7 in the Class 2-A and 3-A polls respectively. East stood at No. 11 this week in 5-A.
“Elizabethton has a lot of speed and playmakers everywhere,” said Johnson County’s head coach Don Kerley. “They should have beaten Science Hill so they came in here with a chip on their shoulders and ready to play. It’s going to be hard for anyone in our conference to play with them. They were big up front and their lineman could move. We’re glad to have these first three games over with. We got through them injury free so that was a good thing. We now have to refocus on winning football games beginning this week. We can’t be looking past anyone because we won’t be favored against Sullivan Central.”
The Longhorns must improve on both sides of the football in a hurry if they expect to salvage anything out of this season.
Johnson County has been outscored 135-29 in their first three games but Friday night they got ran over roughshod. Elizabethton’s head coach Shawn Witten liked what he saw after his team’s close loss to the Toppers.
“We just wanted to get a good game in and play solid,” said Witten. “We had a sour taste in our mouths all week. I am proud of the way that our kids came out tonight. They played really well.”
The head coach had to be pleased with the play of sophomore quarterback Carter Everett and senior running back Jacob Turner.
Everett completed 8-of-12 passes for 132 and ran for two touchdowns. His first score came on a 1-yard run capping off a 15-play, 72 yard drive.
He later tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Evan Perkins to make the score 14-0 after Jaxton Holly’s PAT with 3:05 remaining in the first quarter.
The Longhorns had a chance to get back in the game but squandered away a golden opportunity.
Quarterback Nathan Arnold hooked up with tight end Shane Greer on a 45-yard pass play and another 33-yarder that got them within three yards of a touchdown. From there it was all Elizabethton’s defensive line.
They stuffed a first and goal at the three after nearly taking the handoff that resulted in a 2-yard loss. Arnold had to hurry his second down pass and he fumbled on the next play under pressure. Nestor Grubb recovered it on the six. It was Johnson County’s only trip inside the red zone.
Everett would tack on his second score, a 6-yard touchdown plunge to make it 20-0. He ended the night with 69 yards rushing on eight attempts.
The route was on from there.
Elizabethton just kept piling on the rushing yards and touchdowns.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.