BY BRIAN HAMILTON
ROAN MOUNTAIN – Cosby tied the game at 6-6 in the first quarter, but that is as close as the Eagles would get, as Cloudland jumped out to a 22-6 lead after one quarter and led 46-6 at halftime. The Highlanders would win comfortable by a score of 52-18 and keep a firm grip on first place in Class 1A Region 1.
Seth Birchfield ran for a 16-yard touchdown to put Cloudland on the board 6-0 with 7:35 left in the first quarter. Cosby would tie the game at 6-6 in the first quarter on a long pass by Tyler Turner.
A 33-yard touchdown run by Birchfield would allow the Highlanders to retake the lead. Caleb Sluder then scored on a 44-yard run to give Cloudland a 22-6 lead in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Highlanders intercepted Turner to open the second quarter and capitalized on Birchfield’s third touchdown of the night.
Cloudland quarterback Chase Shell hit Gage McKinney for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion was successful, as the Highlanders took a 38-6 lead with 8:33 left in the second quarter.
Birchfield added a 20-yard touchdown run before halftime, as Cloudland took a 46-6 lead into the intermission.
Cosby added two scores in the second half and Birchfield added his fifth touchdown of the night on a 4-yard touchdown run as the Highlanders cruised to a 52-18 win.
Birchfield finished with 120 yards and five scores on 12 carries, while Caleb Sluder ran for 132 yards and one touchdown on six carries.
Shell threw for 58 yards and one score on 4-of-6 passing.
Cosby (0-5, 0-2 Class 1A Region 1) will travel to North Greene (2-4, 0-2) for a region battle on Friday, while Cloudland (4-1, 3-0 Class 1A Region 1) will host Class 3A West Greene (4-1) in a non-region contest.