Perfection. Thursday night's 20-8 victory over visiting - and previously undefeated - Ritchie County gave Tyler Consolidated's Middle School football team a 7-0 record for the 2011 gridiron season.
"I've been researching it and if it's happened before it's only happened once in 19 years. Well, twice now," said head coach Bob Jones. "The kids have worked hard and cheered for each other and worked for that goal. Every game they had that taste in their mouth."
The Knights began the game the way they have most of the season with a score on their first possession.
TCMS Knight offense
Starting from the Blazer's 29, Jordan Baker ran off tackle for the first of his three touchdowns just before the end of the first quarter. Backfield mates Austin Spencer, Hogan Wells and Josh Peck accounted for the remainder of the yardage.
Baker's second points of the game came on a toss and 48-yard scramble in the second period with less than three minutes gone on the clock.
His final score was behind a wall of blockers in the third from the Ritchie County 41. Wells capped the drive by converting the two-point conversion.
The win advances Tyler Consolidated to the Little Kanawha Conference championship, where they will represent the LKC West. Defending the LKC East will be Ritchie County, whom the Knights will face again next week.
"We've won the Western Division and they've won the Eastern Division. There's still a lot to play for," said Jones.
Facing the same opponent twice in as many weeks won't be easy according to Jones. "There's always a chance of a let down. I think we'll be all right. I've told the kids how tough it is to beat a team two weeks in a row. It'll be a challenge for us. We have to be ready."A win will cap a surprising year for Jones and assistant coach D.J. Cunningham and their charges. Going into the season the coach said he knew he had a special team just not how special. Beginning with River the wins began and mounted week after week.
"I wasn't shocked but some what surprised," he said. "We had 29 kids starting out and have 29 now. That's unusual."