Knights Tame Bulldogs
WEST UNION – Tyler Consolidated shook off its season-starting loss to Williamstown with a convincing 42-12 win against Doddridge County on Sept. 2 at Cline Stansberry Stadium in West Union.
Both sides of the stands were packed as the Silver Knights took possesion of the game early with a touchdown by senior Tyler Anderson with 7 minutes and 15 seconds left in the first quarter.
Anderson scored on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Griffith Phillips. The passing game looked more polished against the Bulldogs than the Knights’ first game, as Phillips completed 9 of 14 passes (64 percent) for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Against Williamstown, Phillips completed 17 of 35 throws (48 percent) for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
Phillips targeted Anderson frequently against the Bulldogs, so much so that the Doddridge County announcer mentioned that he didn’t like Anderson’s speed. Anderson caught 5 passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow senior Jace Reed caught two passes for five yards, while freshman Mark Rucker caught a 34-yard pass and junior Kyle Mason had one catch for three yards.
Like their game against Williamstown, the Silver Knights relied more heavily on the legs of its running backs to move the ball, rather than its quarterback’s arm.
Senior Jace Reed had two touchdowns and had 63 yards on eight carries. Anderson had 18 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown, while junior Nathan Lancaster had one carry for one yard and Phillips had three carries for negative yardage. In total, the team had 31 carries for 175 yards.
But with these handoffs came six fumbles, three of which were picked up by Doddridge County. Coach Ryan Walton said Tyler Consolidated will work on reducing its fumbles and penalties. Tyler Consolidated had nine penalties for a total of 90 yards, while Doddridge County had 13 for 95 yards.
During the first half, the energy on the field seemed to be on Tyler Consolidated’s side. Defensively, they were stopping the ball and doing a good job of reading plays, which lead to Anderson’s interception and touchdown. The offense put 15 points on the board. When the halftime buzzer sounded, Tyler Consolidated led, 23-0.
When the second half started, Doddridge County made it’s mark. Penalties plagued both teams, as Tyler has nine for 90 yards, while Doddridge had 13 for 95 yards. One of the penalties was costly, as Anderson ran a 35-yard pass in for a touchdown, but a penalty was called at the line of play, negating the touchdown.
After Tyler Consolidated lost the touchdown, the Bulldogs seemed to be re-energized. As Walton said, they don’t quit, and keep coming at Tyler Consolidated constantly. The Bulldogs used their passing game for only eight throws, but racked up 113 yards and a touchdown on a 75-yard pass to sophomore William Howell.
After putting up six points with 1 minute, 59 seconds left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs turned around and scored again. This time, junior Curtis James completed a 3-yard run with 11 minutes, 56 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Silver Knights’ special teams stopped the Bulldogs’ two attempts to score on two-point conversions. But the Tyler Consolidated sideline was quiet, and in those few minutes, it seemed like the Bulldogs could rally to win.
After the Bulldogs’ second touchdown, Tyler Consolidated looked to its seniors to lead the way. Anderson intercepted at Bulldog pass. He finished the drive with a 10-yard run for a touchdown with a little less than 7 minutes left in the game. The fire was back on the Knights’ sideline. It was Reed who put the nail in Doddridge County’s coffin with a 11-yard run for a touchdown with 2 minutes and 12 second left in the fourth quarter. The score was 42-12. The Knights’ defense kept the Bulldogs from scoring again, leaving no doubt that they were the superior team.
OFFENSIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
Unlike Williamstown, Doddridge County was unable to stop the dynamic duo of Anderson and Reed. Tyler Consolidated is lucky to have such a tandem, but even the Bulldogs’ announcer knew they were trouble. Other teams know this too. Tyler Consolidated will have to find other players who can fill Anderson and Reed’s role, especially since this is their final season.
The Silver Knights also must keep learning how to handle the ball and prevent fumbles. Maybe it’s beginning-of-the-season jitters, but fumbles can be costly.
Coach Ryan Walton said the team will be working on reducing fumbles and penalties in the coming weeks.
DEFENSIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
During the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs called upon freshman quarterback Noah Bumgardner to step behind the line. During one play, he evaded several Knights in route to a first down. What looked like an easy sack, became a game of catch the little guy. It was hard to watch him slip through the Knights’ grasp, but it showed that size isn’t anything. Like that Williamstown trick play that the Knights’ defense has problems with every year, he surprised Tyler Consolidated, but shouldn’t have.
Other than that one play, the Knights showed great improvement against Doddridge. Brandon Keys and Cory Chipps made several stops early on to keep Doddridge out of scoring range. They defensive play, helped get the Knights’ pumped up.
Tyler Consolidated used both high and low punts to their advantage, limiting Doddridge County’s position on the field. Tyler Consolidated completed four of its six attempts to get extra points. Phillips, who pulled double-duty as a kicker, scored on two fieldgoals. He also completed two two-point conversions to Anderson and Mason. However, the blocked kick after the Knight’s final touchdown, ended the game on a sour note. As the schedule progresses, it will be important to score on more of these extra-point situations. Every point counts and Walton said it was another issue they’d look to address.
LOOKING TO FRIDAY
Tyler Consolidated will try to notch another win at 7 p.m. Friday as it plays host against new opponent, Webster County.
Ryan Walton said the coaches saw the team play last year and knows that its a physical team and its players are pretty good size. They are looking over video tape and giving the Knights’ a game plan that will hopefully lead to victory.