Cyclones open season with win

Andrew Towne/Torrington Telegram Southeast senior Tiegen Thompson makes a diving tackle during Friday’s 29-6 victory over the Riverside Rebels.

YODER – The Southeast High School football team never trailed on a hot Friday afternoon in a 29-6 victory over the Riverside Rebels at Teeters Memorial Field.

The air temperature was pushing triple digits at kickoff, but the field turf in Yoder made it feel even hotter.

“I thought the kids played well for the temperatures,” Southeast coach Mark Bullington said. “Both teams, it was like they were running in mud. It was just so hot, it’s hard to perform well in that heat.”

Southeast won the pregame coin toss, elected to receive and marched down the field on its opening drive. It was capped off by a two-yard quarterback keeper by junior Ayden Desmond to give the Cyclones a 7-0 lead.

Desmond also got it done on the defensive side of the football as well. On Riverside’s first offensive possession, they to marched right down the field until they got deep inside Southeast territory.

With 4:04 left in the opening quarter, Desmond picked off a Riverside pass at the Southeast 4-yard line. Southeast couldn’t do anything with the turnover and was forced to punt.

The visiting Rebels chewed up the remaining time of the first quarter and the first minute and a half of the second quarter.

On a 4th-and-9 play from the Southeast 23-yard line, Desmond tallied his second interception of the game. This time, he took it back to the end zone for a pick six to give the Cyclones a 14-0 lead.

“He led our defense in tackles too,” Bullington said. “He’s a smart kid. He knows the offense. He knows the defense. He’s the leader on our team.”

But Bullington admitted Southeast had its fair share of first-game mistakes.

“Any first game, you’re going to make mistakes,” he said. “Most of the mistakes we made are correctable.”

The next two offensive possessions, both Southeast and Riverside turned the ball over downs.

When Southeast turned the ball over with 5:15 left before halftime, the Rebels took advantage of it and turned it into a 52-yard touchdown.

On the next Cyclone possession, Riverside picked off a pass at its own 2-yard line, but a bad snap resulted in a safety, pushing the Southeast back to double digits heading into halftime.

In the third quarter, each team had offensive possessions when resulted in nothing.

Late in the quarter a penalty on Riverside gave the Cyclones an untimed down with no time left on the clock in the third. The result was Demond connecting with junior Kannon Tippetts for an 18-yard score.

The Southeast defense forced Riverside to punt on its first possession of the fourth quarter, and the Cyclones responded with another drive which led to Desmond finding senior Cole Sauer in stride for a 14-yard touchdown.

The Cyclones (1-0) hosts the Wright Panthers (0-1) on Friday, Sept. 8.

“There are doing it a little bit different,” Bullington said. “They are spreading it out more. They have a big quarterback who throws it pretty well. They run to the ball. We’ll have to be ready.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.