Silver Knights Triumph
NEW MARTINSVILLE – All good things must come to an end and on Friday night in New Martinsville, the Blue Eagles lost the strangle hold they had on the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights. It has been a long time – 13 years – since the Knights beat their arch rival but, as was fitting, the drought ended in a driving rain.
Most of the Tyler Consolidated students were not yet even in school when the 2003 Silver Knights under then Coach John Stender got the last win. On this particular night, however, current Coach Ryan Walton had his team fired up and ready to play; they were determined not to let it go on any longer.
The Knights won the opening toss and elected to defer till the second half, giving the Blue Eagles the first shot on offense. Knights’ Griffin Phillips booted the opening kickoff to the 20 where Magnolia’s Gage Adams returned it to the 35. On first and 10, Chase Street gained three yards, Brooks Parsons gained a yard on second down and on third and six from the 39, Street was stopped for no gain and the Knights forced the Blue to punt. Parsons got off a beauty that rolled dead on the one yard line putting the Silver Knights 99 yards away on their first possession.
On the first down, Tyler Anderson gained four yards followed by an eight yard pickup by fullback Jace Reed giving the Knights a first down at the 13. Reed gained ripped off four more yards and on second and six Anderson went around the left end for eight yards and another Silver Knight first down placing the ball on the 25.
The Knights continued to give the ball to Reed and Anderson with Reed picking up one yard on first down and Anderson gaining five on the next carry. On third and and four from the 30 Reed rambled nine yards up the middle for a first down at the 39.
Staying with the running game Anderson gained nine yards to put the ball on the 48. The Knights were then called for a five yard motion penalty to set up a second and six from the 43. Anderson went off tackle for 11 yards and yet another first down moving the ball to the Magnolia 46. The Blue Eagles were called for a chop block on the play moving the ball down to the 36. Reed then picked up five yards and Anderson gained six to give the Knights a first and 10 from the 25. Reed lost three yards on the next two carries and facing a 3-14 Phillips pass to Anderson fell incomplete. With a 4-14 from the 29 Anderson got behind the secondary and Phillips found him wide open for a 29 yard strike to open the scoring. The two point conversion pass was no good and with 3:09 left to play in the first quarter the Knights led 6-0.
“They pinned us down on our own one yard line and we put it on our offensive line and our running backs,”Walton said. “That kind of set the tone for the game offensively for us. That was a huge, huge 99 yard scoring drive. I don’t know if we’ve ever done that before. But the kids came out and stayed focused.”
The Silver Knights tried an on side kick but the Blue Eagles recovered on their own 49 giving Magnolia great field position on their second possession.
However, the Knights forced the Blue into a three and out. Another good punt by Parsons gave the ball back to Tyler on the 18.
A good defensive stance by the Blue Eagles, however, forced the Silver Knights into a fourth and 18 situation as time ran out in the first quarter. Phillip’s punt from his own end zone was under pressure and Magnolia got the ball back on the Silver Knights 19. Street gained six yards on first down but on second down Street was thrown for a five yard loss setting up a third and nine from the 18. Priem was incomplete on a pass to Herrick and on fourth and nine Priem was picked off by Anderson giving the Knights a first and 10 from the eight yard line.
Reed picked up a yard and Anderson moved the ball to the 13 with a four yard tote. On third and five, Phillips called his own number and rambled around the right end for 13 yards and another Knights first down at their own 26. Magnolia was called for a late hit penalty on the play moving the ball to the 41. Anderson gained three yards on first down and Reed picked up six setting up a 3-1 from the 50. Phillips lost two yards and on a fourth and three Anderson was stopped short giving the ball back to the Blue Eagles on downs.
From the 50, two straight runs by Street gave the Eagles a third and one from the 41. Tyler then jumped offsides giving Magnolia their initial first down on the Knights 35. After a Magnolia time out the Blue Eagles got tagged with a motion penalty making it second and15 from the 40. On the next play Priem was again picked off by Anderson and the Knights took over on their own 12 yard line.
Reed carried for four yards giving the Knights a second and six from the 16. On the next play Anderson took the hand off from Phillips and raced 50 yards down the left sideline setting the Knights up with a first and 10 from the Eagles 34. Reed then ripped off 10 yards and another first down at the 24. Anderson was stopped for no gain and the Silver Knights were hit with an illegal substitution penalty making it second and 15 from the 29. Following a Tyler time out with 2:24 left in the half, Anderson bulled his way for 20 yards giving the Silver Knights first and goal from the nine. Phillips then called his own number and found the end zone on a nine yard run off right tackle. The conversion pass was no good and with 1:19 left in the half Tyler held a 12-0 lead.
Magnolia took the ensuing kickoff at the 30 yard line where Magnolia’s Street went down with a leg injury. It looked like Street would be taken off the field by ambulance, but he then was able to get to his feet and the ambulance which had drove onto the field got hung up and the head official called both teams to shove the Wetzel County EMS off the field. It was a great show of sportsmanship as both teams came together so play could resume.
With the ball on their own 30 and with only 1:19 to play, the Blue Eagles went to work and made things interesting. On first down, Parsons was stopped for no gain and the Blue Eagles were called for holding moving the ball back to the 20. Priem gained seven yards on first and 20 and the Knights were penalized 15 yards moving the ball to the 42. On first down Priem picked up 16 yards on the ground and the Blue Eagles got a first and10 from the Knights 42. With 18 seconds to play Priem then found Parsons for 37 yards and a first and goal from the five. A penalty on Tyler moved the ball half the distance and with 6.9 seconds to play in the half Priem went up the middle for two yards and the Blue Eagle score. The Extra point kick by Patrick Marandy was good and the Knights went into the locker room up 12-7.
“Chase came into the locker room at halftime,” Magnolia Coach Dave Chapman said. “He took a knee to the lower back. He laid there for a while and I was concerned. He didn’t want the ambulance to take him off. He didn’t want to get on the stretcher. I’ve been coaching a long time and it’s been a while since I’ve seen that. Chase said he wanted to walk off the field. That just tells you what kind of kid he is. I’ve just never seen anything more inspiring than that. That’s Chase though.”
With no let up in the rain and with field conditions quickly deteriorating, the Knights came out of the locker room with the idea of getting a quick score to extend the lead. The Knights took the second half kickoff at the 20 and returned it to the 33 where they started their drive. Sticking mainly to the ground attack, Anderson gained two yards on first down and Reed followed with four more Phillips then broke free on a seven yard scramper giving the Knights a first and 10 from 46.
Anderson picked up 11 more yards on two straight carries and the Silver Knights were in Magnolia territory at the 42. Reed then got three yards but Anderson was stopped setting up a third an seven. Phillips then went to the air and found Trent Smith open down the sideline for 21 yards and a first and 10 from the 21. The Knights went right back to the running game with Anderson picking up a quick 11. Reed then gained the last 10 yards on two carries for a touchdown. Phillips handed the ball off to Reed who then went in untouched for the two-point conversion and with 7:02 left in the third the score stood at 20-7.
Magnolia got the ball back on the kickoff following two straight penalties on Tyler forcing them to kick from the 30-yard line. The Eagles started at their own 40 and on first down got nailed with a 15 yard personal foul penalty setting them back to the 25. The Blue Eagles facing a first and 25 went to the air and Priem found Parsons open down the right side for a 41-yard gain to the Knights 34. Priem picked up seven on a bootleg run and Street got two more setting up a third and one from the 25. On the third down play Priem fumbled and Tyler Consolidated’s Wesley Watson recovered giving the Silver Knights another opportunity from their own 25.
The Knights got things going again and picked up two quick first downs moving the ball to the Magnolia 40 with Reed getting 32 of the 35 yards. Magnolia’s defense then stood up and freshman Jacob Barrows recovered a fumble by Knights quarterback Phillips at the 34. The Blue Eagles offense and Priem hit Herrick for 21 yards and Parsons for 16 more to move the chains to the Knights 29. Priem then ran twice picking up 12 yards to the 17. After a loss of two and a second and12 Priem hit Herrick across the middle for 11 yards and a first an goal at the eight as time ran out in the third period.
Magnolia got three yards on a Priem run to the five yard line but then threw two consecutive incompletions. On fourth and goal from the five Priem was stopped after a two yard gain and the Silver Knights took over on downs.
Faced with a first and 10 from their own two yard line, the Knights responded by picking up three straight first downs highlighted by a 16-yard run from Phillips on third and eight from the eight. The Knights made it to the 40 on time consuming running by Anderson and Reed but were forced to punt on fourth and four. Phillips got off a 44-yarder pinning the Blue Eagles back on their own 27.
Magnolia went right to the air with Priem connecting with Parsons on a 38-yard strike to the Silver Knights 36. On the next play Priem went for the home run, but Tyler’s freshman Mark Rucker grabbed the interception in the end zone and the Knights took over on their own 20 where they put together a drive picking up three first downs and moving the ball to the Eagles 44 yard line. The drive was kept alive by a Phillips to Smith pass for 10 yards and a 13-yard third down run by Anderson. With only 26 seconds left to play, Phillips took a knee and time expired giving Tyler Consolidated their first win over the Blue Eagles since 2003.
“It was a good win for us and a long time coming, were going to celebrate this win and enjoy it but we have to get back to work next week and be ready for Friday,” Walton said. “The kids played hard and they wanted to win, we made a few mistakes and we’ll work on that this coming week. We have to cut down on the penalties.”
Speaking of Anderson and Reed, Walton said, “Those guys spend the whole off season working out and they’ve played here all four years. Both of them blocking for each other and running for each other. They did a good job and they look out for each other. But it was huge for the offensive line and they play with pride themselves on that. They congratulate the offensive line and it’s exciting for both of them.”
Leading the way for the Silver Knights was Tyler Anderson with a 29-yard touchdown reception, 140 yards rushing on 22 carries, six solo tackles and two interceptions for 10 yards. Jace Reed rushed 30 times for 115 yards and a score and got a two point conversion run. Griffin Phillips was 3-7 passing for 60 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions and picked up 38 yards rushing on five attempts. Trent Smith caught two passes for 31 yards.
Tyler Consolidated led 21-9 in first downs and 353 to 234 in total yardage. The Knights were penalized seven times for 45 yards while Magnolia received six penalties for 60 yards. Tyler fumbled twice losing one and the Blue Eagles fumbles once losing one.
For Magnolia Priem was the leading rusher with 47 yards and a score on nine carries and Street picked up 17 on nine tries. Priem completed 8-15 passes for 170 yards with Parsons gaining 130 yards on five receptions. Herrick caught two passes for 32 yards and Halahingano caught one for eight yards. Patrick Mirandy kicked an extra point for the Blue Eagles.