8th ranked Knights host first round
The West Virginia State High School football play-offs began on Friday, but the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights, along with every other local team making it to the post-season, played on Saturday afternoon. On a cold, crisp autumn day, play-off football blew into Tyler County and about 160 minutes later, blew right back out again, taking with it the end of the eighth ranked Knights 2014 season as they fell to their first round opponents, the Moorefield Yellow Jackets, 44-24.
“It was a great atmosphere to be involved in,” said Silver Knight head coach Ryan Walton. “We didn’t get everything accomplished that we wanted to, of course, and we didn’t get the win, but I give every bit of credit for any success we’ve had this year to our kids. They gave everything they had.”
Proving their mettle from the get-go, the Silver Knights struck pay dirt first within only 19 ticks of the clock when junior Jordan Baker broke loose and took the football 62 yards down field for the first score of the game. It was Baker on the two point conversion as well, giving the Knights the lead, 8-0.
Not even a minute had passed when Moorefield got the same bright idea, and ran a 40 yarder in for six points. Much to the Knight fans’ delight, the two point conversion pass failed, leaving the Yellow Jackets two points short of the lead, 8-6 at the completion of quarter number one.
In the opening three minutes of the second quarter, Moorefield’s Franklin caught a 13-yard pass to put the Blue ahead in the game to the tune of 12-8. The Knights still had gas to burn though as Jace Reed roughhoused his way into the end zone for six points and tacked on two extra points with another run. Moorefield tucked in for another six points and then, still in the second, Baker went to Reed again who rushed three yards in for a touchdown, followed by a Baker run in for two more, putting the Knights in a favorable light heading into the half-time, ahead in the game, 24-20.
The second half of the game proved to be a dismal one for the home standing Knights who were unable to put any points on the scoreboard, but allowed the ‘Jackets to rack up 24 more to take the lead, and eventually the win, 44-24.
“It was a disappointment, sure it was,” Coach Walton said. “We missed some opportunities we should have capitalized on and gave them too many breaks, which they did capitalize on in the second half. You can’t give a good football team like they were too many chances or they’ll get you every time.”
Moorefield rushed 45 times for 373 yards and six touchdowns and completed 11 of 17 passes for 149 yards and one TD. The Moorefield quarterback was intercepted twice.
Tyler Consolidated rushed for 191 yards on 44 carries and three touchdowns. Baker completed three of 17 passes for 27 yards and was intercepted once.
Baker led the home team in rushing yards, running the ball 17 times for 101 yards and a touchdown; Reed rushed 20 times for 62 yards and two touchdowns; and Tyler Anderson ran the ball seven times for 29 yards.
Trent Smith caught one Baker pass for 16 yards; and Anderson caught two passes for 11 yards.
Defensively, Colby Buchanan was credited with four tackles and covered a fumble; Tyler Anderson, seven tackles; Jace Reed, two tackles; Kyle Frum, two tackles; Hogan Wells, three tackles; Chase Cooper, six 1/2 tackles; Colby Lash, 1/2 tackle; Baker, eight 1/2 tackles, fumble cause; Brandon Keys, five 1/2 tackles; Nick Anderson, four 1/2 tackles, fumble cause; Austin Thompson, two tackles; and Devon Harris, had one and 1/2 tackles.
The Silver Knights finished the 2014 season with an overall 7-4 season record while completing one of the toughest schedules in the Class A system, which bodes very well for next year’s prospects.
“We’re only losing one senior to graduation, but Nick Anderson is going to be a tough one to replace,” Walton said. “He’s really come into his own this year, stepped up and took a leadership role when we needed him to.
“But the team should still be on course, because we have a lot coming back next year with some good experience and they’re very coachable. They’ll be another year older, stronger, and smarter-and that’s good for us. We have several eighth graders just coming off an undefeated season with an interest to play high school ball, and that’s a good thing. Our coaching staff is all on the same page with the direction we want to go, and that’s a plus.”
“The support of the fans and our communities has been excellent and continues to grow and that’s probably the best thing we have going for us.
“It means a lot to these kids to do well in front of their parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors. It looks like it’s paying off for both the team and the fans.
“I don’t know if next year is going to be our year or not, but I know we’re going to be there, ready to give it our best shot.”