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Knights Drop Opener

By Staff | Aug 31, 2016

Photo by Miles Layton Silver Knights’ Tyler Anderson evades Yellow Jackets defenders as he rushes down the field at Friday’s season opener against Williamstown. Though the Silver Knights’ effort came up short 25-14 — players like Anderson and Jace Reed made the Yellow Jackets work for it.

MIDDLEBOURNE – In a battle that could have gone either way, the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights let one slip away on a hot and humid Friday night at home.

Tyler Anderson picked right up where he left off last year when he took the opening kickoff from the Yellow Jackets, cut past two defenders and raced 95 yards untouched to the end zone.

Sophomore quarterback Griffin Phillips then found a wide open Jace Reed on a slant out for a two-point conversion pass giving the Knights an 8-0 edge with only 15 seconds off the game clock.

The momentum quickly changed, however, as Williamstown quarterback Trenton Tallman cut through a huge hole and found pay dirt from 60 yards out to add six points to the board for the visitors. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the score stood at 8-6 Tyler with only 29 seconds gone in the first period.

Things then turned interesting as the Knights started a drive from their own 20 following the kickoff. The Knights gained an initial first down when Phillips hit freshman Mark Rucker on a 14-yard toss, but the drive stalled after a penalty, two short runs and an incomplete pass. Phillips got off a 38-yard punt, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave the ball back to Tyler Consolidated. They were unable again to move the ball and an interception gave Williamstown good field position at the 48.

The Knights’ Anderson came up with a big interception to give the home team the ball on the 38. Unable to pick up much yardage and plagued by penalties, the Knights again were forced to punt. Williamstown took over on the 17 and put together a 14 play drive aided by two big penalties by the Knights and were able to put six more on the board when Tallman ran six yards off tackle to put the Yellow Jackets up 12-8 with 6:15 left in the half.

The extra point attempt was blocked.

After the ensuing kickoff, senior Jace Reed returned the ball to the 32 where the Knights went to work and put together a 10 play drive aided by a roughing-the-passer call against Williamstown that gave them a first and goal from the eight. From there, Reed bullied up the middle for the score giving the home team a 14-12 advantage with 2:39 to play in the half. The two-point conversion failed.

Starting at the 28, the Yellow Jackets put together another scoring drive on a series of 10 runs to cross the goal line with seven seconds remaining in the half. The extra point kick was good and at halftime the score stood at 19-14 Williamstown.

The second half was a penalty and turnover filled half with the only score coming with 9:27 to play in the fourth when Williamstown quarterback Tallman connected with a wide open freshman, Donathan Taylor, for 16 yards an a score. The two-point conversion failed and the score stood at 25-14.

The Silver Knights had several opportunities in the half as they recovered five Yellow Jacket fumbles and had an interception. However, they were unable to move the ball and a couple of untimely penalties took the toll.

Overall, the Knights had 214 total yards with only 72 on 28 rushing attempts and 142 passing on 17 completions on 38 attempts. Reed had 35 yards on 16 attempts rushing, while Phillips gained 31 on nine tries and Anderson had six yards on three carries.

Rucker led the receiving corps with 50 yards on seven receptions and Anderson grabbed four balls for 30 yards. Trenton Smith hauled in two catches for 27 yards and Colby Buchanan grabbed two for 23. Reed also got 12 yards on two catches. The Knights never lost a fumble, but suffered two interceptions. Williamstown fumbled seven times loosing five and was intercepted once.

Tyler Consolidated has a nice team and played a tough state ranked Williamstown down to the wire with plenty of opportunities to win. The Knights next outing will be Friday night against Doddridge County on the road followed by another home game Sept. 9 against Webster County.