In the annual "big rivalry of the year", the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights traveled to New Martinsville on Friday to take on the 1-1 Blue Eagles of Magnolia, but found themselves on the short end of the 41-13 score when all was said and done.
On the field, the game lived up to the hype for the first three quarters with each team plodding their way up and down the field, each gaining over 200 yards on ground in the battle.
"It was a game where we saw a lot of good things happen, and unfortunately some bad things as well," said head coach of the Silver Knights, Rob Caldwell.
"We've got to play for a full 48 minutes, not 35 not 30, a full 48, because when we don't, we have let downs. We have to find a way to keep our focus."
The first score of the game had the Big Blue fans out of their seats as Jake Brill recovered a fumble in the end zone for the first six points of the game. With the extra point kick, the Eagles took the lead, 7-0. With only four minutes remaining in the first half, Brill again touched pay dirt on a pass from Tanner Hanna, followed by the kick to take the lead 14-0 heading to the half.
In the opening minutes of the third period, Silver Knight Josh Ruble scored on a six yard run. The Drew Casey extra point kick went through the uprights to put the score 14-7, Magnolia still in the lead.
Unfortunately for Knight supporters, Magnolia answered that score with one of their own before the period ended and went on to put 20 more points on the scoreboard in the fourth to take the win.
The last score of the game came on a Consolidated run of freshman Jordan Baker, gaining six points on a 67 yard run. The extra point run failed, putting the Knights at a deficit, 41-13.
"We had several kids who got pretty beat up, but they stayed the course," Caldwell said. "We had to change things up and put some kids in different positions they weren't used to, but they did it. Josh Ruble and Swen Scheidemantel, to name two, had to change positions and they did a good job for us. That was a lot to put on their plate, but they did their best."
The Silver Knights rushed for 154 yards in the game and passed for 51 for a total of 205 yards, while the Eagles rushed for 113, passed for 107 for 220 yards in all.
Hunter LeMasters, the Knight quarterback, completed nine of 20 passes for 51 yards and was intercepted twice.
Offensive stats for Tyler Consolidated include Baker, 11 rushes for 102 yards and one TD; Ruble, 13 carries for 48 yards and one touchdown; and Hogan Wells, rushing twice for six yards.
Catching the ball for the Silver on the night were: Koty Martin, five catches for 38 yards; Alex Doak, two for three yards; and Levi Henderson, one catch for nine yards.
Denfensively, Levi Henderson had seven tackles, six solos, two assists in the game; Koty Martin, six tackles, four solos, four assists; Josh Ruble, six tackles, six solo; Hunter LeMasters, four tackles, three solo, two assists, one interception; alex Doak, four tackles, four solo; Swen Scheidemantel, three tackles, two solo, three assists; Cole Kocher, two tackles, two solo; Christian Ice, two tackles, two solo, one assist; Jay Early, one tackle, one solo; Drew Casey, one assist; Troy Watson, one assist; Colby Lash, one assist; and Chase Cooper, one assist.
"We've just got to keep moving forward, working on our game and never giving up," the coach said. "These kids are working hard, and sooner or later it's going to pay off for them. They deserve it."
The Silver Knights' next game is sure to be a barn burner as the Blue Devils of St. Marys will play at Knight Stadium on Friday. Known for their pounding, down-your-throat running game, the Devils will looking to add to their win column.
"We have to play defensively smart," Caldwell said.