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Elizabethton breezes past conference foe Sullivan East

Johnny Wilson • Updated Sep 6, 2019 at 11:36 PM

BLUFF CITY — The football factory that is the Elizabethton Cyclones flexed its considerable muscle Friday night and to no one's surprise produced a 63-9 road whipping of Three Rivers Conference rival Sullivan East.

Off last week after opening their 2019 schedule with a second straight win over Science Hill, the Cyclones (2-0) pretty well did what they wanted in taking apart the Patriots (0-2), speeding to a 49-3 advantage at halftime.

Longtime Elizabethton coach Shawn Witten explained his long-term success, which includes 10 straight seasons of at least eight wins, six of at least 10.

"The whole program is built off culture," said Witten, who took over at 'Betsy in 2007. "We have created a culture and an environment that's worth buying into, and the kids have done a great job of that the last 13 years — really all the way back to 1976 when my grandfather (Dave Rider) came to Elizabethton.

"We believe that tradition never graduates. The kids really work hard and we maintain discipline on and off the field, and that's our first priority.

"We're proud of where we are, and winning never gets old. It felt really good to come in off a bye week tonight and play really well as a team out there."


Six-foot freshman quarterback Bryson Rollins had a big evening for Witten, throwing for four touchdowns — three to Parker Hughes and one to Zach Hartley, a 21-yard connection that made it a 21-3 game midway through the first quarter.

Hughes not only hauled in TD receptions of 42, 40 and 6 yards, but the 185-pound junior also returned a 38-yard interception for a fourth score,.

Cameron Trimm scored a pair of touchdowns, on runs of 6 and 36 yards. Cade Maupin also found the end zone for Elizabethton with an 18-yard scamper.

Jake Roberts started the fireworks with 28-yard interception return for a TD.

"We're just taking it one game at a time, but we've got some beef up front and we're able to push some people around a bit," Witten said. "As long as we can stay healthy, we think the sky's the limit.

"We watched the best (4A) team in the state (Greeneville) win 30 straight and back-to-back state titles, and we've learned you must be able to muscle people around. So we've worked hard at getting stronger the last 12 months."


The Patriots actually made it a 7-3 game early in the first quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Martin Hamelryck.

East later scored on the last play of the game, a 4-yard TD strike from quarterback Dylan White to wide out Blake Scher.

But the Patriots committed three turnovers in the first half.

"What we hope to take from this is that we learn how important the little things are in keeping you in a football game and giving you a chance to win," East coach Mike Locke said. "Elizabethton has a great team, and tonight was a good learning process for some young kids who are working to get better."

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