Cleveland Musters 3 TDs In The 2nd Half For Comeback Win At Rhea County

Friday, August 18, 2017

Cleveland High mustered three second-half touchdowns for an exciting 21-14 victory at Rhea County on Friday night.

Romeo Wykle caught a pass deep at the corner of the end zone with nine seconds left for the go-ahead score.

The Golden Eagles scored on their first procession as Zach Pemberton hit Jaden Austin with a 36-yard strike.

A penalty cost Cleveland one first-half TD, and the Blue Raiders coughed up the ball twice.

It remained 7-0 at intermission, but Rhea County had a powerful ground drive to start the second half. Gavin Morrison had most of the carries, but Christian Simon ran it in for a 14-0 lead.

Cleveland got on the board when Kellye Caywood hit Wykle in stride on a play that went 63 yards. Wykle was never touched as he sprinted for the end zone. Harshil Patel, a senior but a first-year kicker, had the extra point to make it 14-7.

The Blue Raider defense stiffened and Rhea was forced to punt. Speedster Micaleous Elder caught the ball in trouble at the 12, but scampered all the way to the Rhea County 45-yard line.

Cleveland was hit with two penalties early in the fourth quarter, then had a long pass player nullified when the receiver was ruled out of bounds.

But the Blue Raiders had another opportunity thanks to a Rhea fumble on the Rhea County 44 with 6:14 left. Elder took it to the 28, then Keegan Jones scampered up the middle for 28 yards to pay dirt. Patel again connected to tie the game at 14.

In the closing minutes of the game, Cleveland defender Logan Stutzman got a stop on a fourth down play. Cleveland had the ball with 2:48 to go.

Caywood carried it 12 yards to the Rhea 40, then Elder took it to the 32. Jeffrey Perez ran to the 15. But then Perez was caught in the backfield and Cleveland was called for a motion penalty that left them with a third and 10 at the 22 with time winding down. Then came the Caywood To Wykle heroics.  

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