Cloudland sees season end at Coalfield
Jamie Shell / (email@example.com)
The ‘Landers kept with the high-powered Yellow Jackets for more than one half, but Coalfield’s Addison Bible recorded an impressive showing to help Coalfield take a 38-14 victory in the second round of the TSSAA Class 1A playoffs. The loss ends Cloudland’s impressive season, as the team went 8-4 under first-year head coach Brock Pittman after going 1-9 last season.
On Friday, Nov. 9, Cloudland was intent on making the second seeded Yellow Jackets work for the win. After the teams traded possessions to start the game, the ‘Landers took the early lead as Jeffery Rhinehart broke free for a 59-yard touchdown with 7:38 remaining in the first quarter, and Cloudland took the advantage into the second quarter.
However, the Yellow Jackets battled back in the second. Ryan Hill found Heath Tinker for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the opening seconds of the frame to tie the game. After Cloudland fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Bible scored his first touchdown of the night from 17 yards. Bible extended the Coalfield lead on its next possession with a 17-yard touchdown run.
Rhinehart closed the gap for the ‘Landers with just 23 seconds remaining in the half as he dived in from three yards out, and Taylor Whitehead converted the two-point conversion as Cloudland trailed 19-14 at the break.
In the second half, the ‘Landers were unable to close the gap any further and Bible added two more touchdowns to secure the win.
“They had an advantage, size and speed wise,” Pittman said. “As the game went on, we wore down some. I’m proud of all these kids because they’ve fought and overcome adversity all year. We might have gotten just a little fatigue.”
Rhinehart led the way for Cloudland with 177 yards on 27 carries, while Whitehead ended the game with 12 carries for 55 yards.
Defensively, Mason Carnett tallied a team high 14 tackles, while Zac Benfield and Austin Whitehead both had nine tackles.
For Coalfield, Bible had 190 yards on 24 carries with four touchdowns, while Hill finished the game 5-of-15 for 175 yards.
The loss caps a season that saw Cloudland turnaround from last year’s 1-9 record. The Highlanders finished second in Mountain East Conference play with a 4-1 record, with its only conference loss to Hampton.