Sullivan South quarterback Dylan Wieger breaks the tackle attempt by an Elizabethton defender during Friday night's game in Kingsport. (Jonathan McCoy photo)
KINGSPORT — After struggling to grind out 61 yards rushing in the first half, Elizabethton opened up the playbook and doubled that in the second half en route to a 28-27 win over Sullivan South.
The Cyclones took the lead for good with a little more than a minute left in the contest when quarterback Caleb Bailey hit Jeremiah Turner with a 12-yard touchdown pass on third-and-8. Logan Birchfield added the all-important extra point to put the Cyclones ahead.
The Rebels (9-1, 5-1) got the ball at their own 28 with 1:14 left to play, but they weren’t able to work any magic. South quarterback Dylan Wieger scrambled for 15 yards on fourth-and-16, and the Rebels turned over the ball on downs.
The Cyclones (9-1, 6-0) took a knee and locked up the Three Rivers Conference championship.
After a slow start, Ethan Thomas wound up with 137 yards rushing and a touchdown on 21 carries. Bailey ran for two scores in addition to his game-winning TD pass.
Wieger threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns, completing 17 of 22 pass attempts. He also ran for 72 yards and two TDs.
Both South and Elizabethton are in the TSSAA playoffs starting next week. Pairings will be announced Saturday at 11 a.m.For an expanded version of this article, please see Saturday’s print edition or our expanded electronic edition.