RUTLEDGE - Grainger held 3rd-ranked Elizabethton close in the first quarter, trailing only 14-0 but then the injury bug bit.
The Grizzlies had injuries to several key players and that allowed the cyclones to take advantage, pulling away for a 56-0 win Friday night at The Den.
“It was a big factor for us especially as some of those injuries happened early in the first and early in the second quarters so that definitely hindered us on what we could do offensively and defensively,” Grizzlies head coach Michael Manis said.
“We had a great goal tonight and game plan and our kids’ effort was good. The thing is we told them on film we were sitting there watching on the sideline, there’s one person every play just making a busted assignment, whether it be a block or a tailback not hitting the right hole or the defense is just not wrapping up or not being in the right gap. Effort obviously wasn’t a problem, our kids are going to play, they’re gonna play from start to finish.”
Grainger had some success through the air as they finished with 162 passing yards but the run game was halted by the Cyclones as the Grizzlies amassed only 35 yards on the ground.
Bryson Bennett was 11-of-21 for 115 yards and Dylan Fowler went 3-fof-4 for 47 yards passing. Landon Patterson caught two passes for 39 yards and Jacob Hill was close behind with 38 yards on two catches.
Ty Overbay led the defense with 7.5 tackles.
Elizabethton was paced by quarterback Bryson Rollins who finished the game 14-of-24 for 283 yards and four touchdowns.
He distributed the ball to several receivers, led by Jake Roberts’ four catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
Nate Stephens also caught two scoring passes, Cade Russell scored twice on the ground for Elizabethton and Kaleb Holzer ran in for a score.
Grainger will host Union County next Friday.