Knights win over Oak Glen, 30-22, secures play-off game
With a trip to the post season hanging in the balance, the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knight football team played their last regular season game at Knight Stadium on Friday, hosting the Golden Bears of Oak Glen. Though the Bears came out rough and ready, the Knights dug in and finally overcame in order to take the win, 30-22.
“We certainly weren’t happy with the first half,” said Knight head coach, Ryan Walton. “We came out flat and couldn’t make any headway. Oak Glen took advantage of the situation and were up on us before we knew it.”
“We came in the locker room at the half and the assistant coaches made some nice changes both offensively and defensively which we hoped would work. And they did. The kids got their focus back and played the way we know they can.”
Though coming into the game with only two wins under their belts, the Golden Bears dominated the first half, pre-occupying the left side of the field on both runs and passes. The Gold scored twice in the first quarter, one on a seven yard pass and the other on a 12 yard run before the Knights could find daylight.
With just over a minute to play in the first period, the home team finally gave their crowd something to cheer about as sophomore Jace Reed ran five yards in for a Knight touchdown. With the two point conversion run failing, the quarter ended with the visitors ahead in the contest, 13-6.
In the second period, Oak Glen again took very little time to find their footing, scoring on a 10 yard pass with 9:36 yet to play. The physical battle between the two teams continued throughout the quarter until Consolidated’s Reed again got the call to carry the ball. The Knight sophomore rushed three yards in for six points. The two point conversion pass from Colby Lash to Tyler Anderson was good, putting the score at 19-14, but with the Knights still trailing.
A revitalized Silver Knight team returned to the field after the half, making better decisions, following through on assignments and keeping the Bears from crossing the goal line. Then, with 2:48 to go in the third, Knight quarterback, Jordan Baker, hit Lash with a 13 yard pass for a Tyler Consolidated touchdown to take the lead for the first time in the game, 20-19.
Though sluggish in the beginning of the game, the Silver and Black dominated the final quarter of the contest, offensively and defensively. With about eight minutes remaining in the game, Tyler Anderson brought down a 50 yard pass from Baker to add to the Knights score. Baker then ran around the end for the two point conversion.
Looking to hurry up their scoring opportunities, the Golden Bears took a chance at a field goal with 4:05 to play, adding a quick three points to their score. Protecting their lead, the Silver Knights pulled out all stops and while covering every angle, sophomore Trent Shepherd made good on a safety to tack two more points on the Knight score, and leaving them in the lead, 30-22 when the last second ticked off the clock at the end of the game.
“Once we settled down we got things going in the right direction,” coach Walton said. “Oak Glen was determined, they were tough, physical players. We let the first half get away from us, but our kids played hard in the second half. They did what we asked of them and this success is theirs.”
The Silver Knights rushed for 208 yards on 54 attempts and had 120 passing yards in the game. The Bears rushed 28 times to collect 189 yards and had 141 passing yards.
The Knights achieved 16 first downs to Oak Glen’s 14 and lost one of two fumbles while the Bears kept control of the only fumble they committed in the game. Consolidated lost 41 yards on seven penalties in the effort; Oak Glen had five penalties called on them, costing them 45 yards.
Knight quarterback, Jordan Baker, completed eight of 17 passes for 120 yards, was intercepted once and made good on two passing touchdowns. The Oak Glen quarterback had one pass intercepted and was sacked four times in the game.
Anderson was the leading receiver for the home team, catching five passes for 54 yards, one touchdown; Lash had four catches for 33 yards and one TD; and Reed brought down a pass for 21 yards.
Reed led the rushing attack for the Silver Knights, carrying the ball 34 times to collect 178 yards, two touchdowns; Baker had eight rushes for 16 yards; and Anderson carried the ball three times for 11 yards.
In the Knight defensive effort: Brandon Keys was in on six tackles, one for a loss; Baker had six solo tackles, three assists; Lash, three solo tackles, one assist, one solo on special teams; Chase Cooper, two solo tackles, one assist, one solo tackle on special teams and intercepted the Oak Glen quarterback once; Kyle Frum had one solo tackle, three assists; Reed, two solos, three assists and one solo on special teams; Anderson, three solo tackles, one assist and one sack of the Oak Glen quarterback; Colby Buchanan, one tackle; Anderson, one solo tackle, three assists; Austin Thompson, one solo, one assist, two tackles for a loss and one quarterback sack; Devon Harrios, two assists; Nathan Lancaster, two solos, one assist; and Trent Shepherd, one tackle for a loss and two sacks of the Oak Glen quarterback.
With the win, the Silver Knights finished up the regular season with seven wins and three losses and will see action in the first round of the West Virginia State High School football playoffs this weekend. Tyler Consolidated, ranked in eighth place in Class A, will face off with number nine, Moorefield, on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Knight Stadium.
“We’re tickled to death to play at home in this first round,” coach Walton said. “The kids are excited. They’ve worked extremely hard all year, they deserve the recognition and the chance to go to the post season. But it’s not going to be an easy round by any means and we know that. Moorefield is a very good team with good, athletic running backs and a quarterback who can run the ball as well. They’re a good solid team and we have to be ready.”
The Moorefield Yellow Jackets come into the game with an 8-2 season record and have made the trip from Hardy County to this area before in state play-off games.