There is nothing like opening up the 2011 high school football season with a bang as the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights found out on Friday in Williamstown, as they fell to the Class A powerhouse in the first game of the season, 50-0.
"Williamstown is an excellent team, make no doubt about that," said head coach of the Silver Knights, Rob Caldwell.
"We knew that going into this game and they proved it during the game. They had experience back at most all positions and we played unskilled and new guys at most every position. We're not making excuses, we should have done a better job. Obviously we have some work to do."
The Yellow Jackets took possession of the ball at just over nine minutes to play and scored. At the end of the first period of play, the Maroon was ahead by 28 and by the time the buzzer scored to herald the end of the first half, the home team had racked up 42 points while holding the Knights to zero.
"It wasn't pretty," the coach said. "We had a few bobbles, a few mistakes and some miscues at the beginning and it just snowballed from there. We had some young kids seeing starting and playing time that were wide eyed and as nervous as they could be with their first taste of varsity ball. And going up against a team like Williamstown, it was a whole new world for them."
The Knights were under the direction on the field of junior first-time quarterback, Hunter LeMasters, who saw his share of Maroon jersey's throughout the night, up close and personal. He completed five of 16 passes in the game for 59 yards and was intercepted once.
"This was Hunter's first time under center in a game," Caldwell said. "We still have some work to do with him. Our kids have some growing up to do, and they're going to have to do it fast."
Koty Martin caught four passes for 46 yards for the Silver and senior Evan Cline had one catch for nine yards.
Offensive stats for the team include: Cline rushing 10 yards for 27 yards for Consolidated; Jacob Highley had five rushes for four yards; Skyler Leasure, four rushes for 10 yards; J.P. Flesher, two rushes for one yard; and Kyle Jones, two rushes for nine yards.
Defensively, Koty Martin was credited with five solo tackles and batting down a Williamstown pass; Jacob Highley had five tackles, one assist and a batted pass; Jay Earley had four tackles and three assists; Skyler Leasure had three tackles and one assist; Josh Ruble, three tackles; Cole Kocher, two solo tackles and one assist; Hunter LeMasters, two solo tackles, two assists and blocked a kick; Kyle Jones, two tackles, one assist, one sack of the quarterback and six tackles for a loss; Dakota Brennaman, two tackles, one assist; Slade Dillon, two solos, one assist; Swen Scheidemantel, one solo tackle; J.P. Flesher, one solo, one assist; Evan Cline, one solo, one assist; Spencer Billings, one solo; Troy Watson, one solo, one assist; Ryley Warner, one solo; Slade Dillon, one solo; and Christian Harris, one solo tackle.
LeMasters punted the ball eight times in the game for 122 yards.
Martin returned one punt and collected 108 yards in kickoff returns. Highley had 35 yards in kickoff returns; Evan Cline had 13 yards from returns and Brennaman had four.
On Friday Tyler Consolidated will host the Roane County Raiders at Knight Stadium. The Raiders return some experience offensively and will threaten the Knights with a quick quarterback who likes to run the ball.
"We don't have an easy schedule," Caldwell said. "Our first game sure wasn't easy and neither will our second or third or the rest of them for that matter. We just have to continue to work hard at practice and carry what we learn onto the field."
Game time on Friday night will be at 7 p.m., as will the rest of the games at Knight Stadium throughout the rest of the season.