The Silver Knights of Tyler Consolidated opened the 2012 high school football season at home, as usual, hosting the Yellow Jackets of Williamstown, but unfortunately falling to the visitors, 52-19.
A large crowd was on hand to cheer on the Silver as they started off the game on fire, steadily moving the ball to the Williamstown 25 yard line before a quarterback sack of Knight quarterback, Hunter LeMasters, ended their forward movement.
"That first drive could have changed the direction of the game," said Knight head coach, Rob Caldwell. "I'm not saying we would have definitely went on to win, but had we scored on that drive, it could have made a world of difference."
Williamstown scored on their first possession with a little over seven minutes to play. In the next series, the Knights turned the ball over on a fumble, only to watch the visitors score for the second time in the first quarter and take a demanding lead in the contest.
"We had to many mistakes," Caldwell said. "We'd turn the ball over and watch them just march it right on down the field. We have to actively participate in every play."
In the second period of play the Silver took little time in bringing the home crowd to their feet as senior quarterback, LeMasters took a six yarder in for six points. Drew Casey followed the touchdown up with the extra point kick to put some life into the Knight faithful.
Two touchdowns and a field goal later, the teams headed to the locker room for the half time break with the Jacket's leading, 31-7.
Though the Silver was able to add two more touchdowns to their side of the scoreboard, one on a Skylar Leasure 15 yard run and the other on a Josh Ruble four yard sneak, Williamstown already nailed down the win.
"We had some positive things happen, and we never gave up, not one time," Caldwell said. "But we made to many mistakes to be able to recoup from. We have to follow through and we have to keep getting after it."
LeMasters completed eight of nine passes for 62 yards in the air for the Knights.
"Hunter did as we expected him to," said the coach. "He played hard and kept his head in the game. And Skylar Leasure got us some good yardage on the ground. We're coming along, just not as quick as everybody wants us to."
Levi Henderson caught two LeMasters passes for 23 yards; Koty Martin had two catches for 21 yards; Swen Scheidemantel had a catch for 10 yards; Jacob Highley caught a three yarder; and Alex Doak brought down two passes for 10yards.
The Knights collected 177 yards and three touchdowns on the ground on 39 rushes while the Jackets had 289 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries.
Skylar Leasure carried the ball 13 times to collect 104 yards for the home team; Doak rushed four times for 23 yards; Jordan Baker had nine carries for 15 yards; Josh Ruble ran the ball five time times for nine yards; and Highley had three rushes for 28 yards.
Williamstown was penalized six times, costing them 85 yards to Tyler Consolidated's five times for 51 costly yards.
In the fumble department, the Yellow Jackets lost one of one while the Silver could not contain two of five.
"The one thing we were glad to see was the enthusiasm of the freshmen on the sidelines," Caldwell said. "They are a vocal and knowledgeable group, and were constantly yelling out encouragement from the sidelines. That makes a difference to a team, and I hope we can keep that enthusiasm up."
On Friday, the Knights will travel to Doddridge County to take on the Bulldogs, who just came off a 22-12 win over South Harrison.
Fans of the Silver can expect to see a Bulldog running game in progress with a few passes sprinkled throughout just for kicks.
"We're going to plan on defending the run, but we have to have a pass defense in place as well," Caldwell said. "We have to be ready for everything, whatever they bring."