Pilots Outlast Silver Knights
On a night when Tyler Consolidated looked to have another win under its belts, the River Pilots got out of the water and took to the air to overcome a potent ground game by the Silver Knights.
Both teams came out playing good defense and exchanged the ball several times before River running back Lukas Isaly broke off left tackle from six yards out for the game’s first score. The two-point pass failed and Tyler got the ball back with 2:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Tyler got its running game going and ran off 10 plays, capped by Tyler Anderson’s nine-yard scoring dash around right end to even things at six. Hogan Wells barreled through the middle for the two-point conversion and the Knights held an 8-6 lead with 10:59 left in the half.
Defense was the name of the game for the remainder of the half with both teams forcing three-and-outs. Anderson and Wells both had some big gains in the first half with Anderson picking up 120 yards on 15 carries and Wells gaining 49 on eight totes.
The Silver Knights got the ball first in the second half and wasted no time putting another score on the board when Anderson broke two tackles and hit the end zone from four yards out with 9:50 to play in the third. Wells again bull-ed his way up the middle for the two point run and Tyler Consolidated held a 16-6 lead.
The Pilots, however, got their passing game going, aided by a couple untimely penalties were able to find paydirt with 3:39 remaining in the third when Flannery found Isaly on a 10-yard pass and run and then hit a wide open Dietz for the two-point conversion and the score stood at 16-14 Tyler.
The Knights continued to find success on the ground as they mixed things up a little and gave the ball to Jace Reed who was playing in his second game back since an early season injury. Reed moved the ball effectively, finishing the game with 77 yards on 13 carries, 11 which came in the second half for 63 yards.
Tyler was driving and looking to run the clock and put things away but a quick turn of events gave the ball back to the Pilots who quickly went to the air and found Dietz wide open in the right side of the end zone for a 31-yard scoring strike, giving the visitors their first lead since the opening score. The two-point conversion pass from Flannery to Drew Wagnild made it 22-16 with 2:51 to play.
Tyler quickly went back to work but couldn’t move the ball. River took over on downs and proceeded to run the clock out to seal the win.
Anderson led the ground attack with 135 yards on 20 carries and continued his scoring antics with two more scores while also catching all five completions from Baker for 16 yards. Wells picked up 63 yards on 12 runs while Reed showed he may be getting back to form as he rushed 13 times for 77 yards.
Brandon Keys had another big game as he continues to make some big plays on the defensive side.
The opposition doesn’t get much easier as the Silver Knights take on a good South Harrison team on Oct. 16 and then welcome the top-ranked Blue Eagles from Magnolia on Oct. 23.