Knights Top Bulldogs in Thriller
Tyler Consolidated drew first blood on Friday night when Sophomore sensation Mark Ruck took a hand off from Quarterback Griffin Phillips and broke free for a 69 yard run down the left side line for the initial score of the game. The extra point kick by Phillips was true to the mark and with 6:48 left in the first period it was Knights 7-0.
Doddridge wasted little time getting on the board however, as they scored with 2:56 left in the quarter on a one yard run by Hunter America after the Bulldogs picked off a Phillips pass at the five yard line. The PAT was good and the score was dead even at seven.
The Knights got another score to take the lead in the second period when Rucker stepped in front of a Doddridge pass at the 30 yard line and went in unmolested to again give the Silver and Black the lead. The kick failed and with 11:36 left before half the Knights had a 13-7 advantage.
From there it only took the Bulldogs a little over two minutes to grab the lead as they moved the ball down field and scored on a six yard burst up the middle by America with 9:13 showing on the clock.
Neither team was able to move the ball the rest of the half with the Knights gaining only one first down in the first half and punting six times. Doddridge also had trouble with the Knights defense as they could only put together two first downs in the half.
The second half again started out with the Knights taking control as they stopped the Bulldogs on their first possession, took the ball down field and scored with 7:01 on the clock when Phillips found Rucker on a 14 yard misdirection pass to give the nod back to the Knights 19-14.
Doddridge took the kickoff and ate up some clock on their next drive behind the running of America and Logan Grogan as they drove the ball down to the Knights 15 where Curtis James found paydirt on a nifty run with 1:49 left in the third. The point after failed and Doddridge held a one point lead 20-19.
Fro there it only took the Knights 16 seconds to get back the lead as Rucker broke the kickoff for a 45 gain and on the next play Phillips found the end zone when he made a nice run off tackle to hand Tyler the lead 27-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
The visitors from Doddridge County got a big play from running back Seth Davis with 9:54 left in the game when he broke free on a 49 yard T.D. run, the extra point was good and the score was dead on at 27.
The Silver Knights got the ball back and dug themselves out of a deep hole when Phillips found senior Colby Buchanan wide open down the middle for 23 yards to keep the drive alive on a 4-9. Just a few plays later Buchanan again came up big as he cut through the left side of the Bulldogs line made a nice move to freeze the defense and went the distance to the house for a 38 yard score, that gave the Knights the lead for good 33-27.
“We challenged our guys and our offensive line during halftime to step up and make the plays. Fortunately they were able to complete the task in the second half,”Coach Ryan Walton said.
“I am proud of my guys, we have to go to Webster County next week and it’s better to go down there with a win than to be 0-2.”
“We took a time out there in the fourth when we were facing a fourth and long and set up the pass play from Griffin to Colby. That got us in position for the misdirection power play run by Buchanan. He made a nice cut and got into open ground,” said Coach Walton.
Walton had high praise for his assistants, he mentioned Coach (Robby) Jones who made some nice offensive calls.
Walton said, “Rucker is only a sophomore but he has grown up quite a bit and we rely on him to do a lot of things for this team. Phillips made some big plays tonight as did Buchanan but we have 24 guys on this team and everyone is important. They are all striving in the same direction. Doddridge has some good players on that team who get after it. We were fortunate to make the plays when we had to.”
For the Knights Rucker had 94 yards rushing on 15 attempts for two scores and 21 yards on three receptions for a score. Phillips finished with 58 yards on 13 carries and a score while completing 7-11 passes for 50 yards and a score. Buchanan gained 38 yards rushing on one attempt for a score and hauled in one pass for 23 yards and a crucial first down.
Leading the way for the Knights defense was Riley Leasure with four solo tackles and six assists including one for a loss. Buchanan had two solos and assists including two for a loss. Hunter Forrester added two solos and three assists, Gage Huffman three solos and two assists, Rucker five solos and one assist, Kyle Mason two solos, Nate Lancaster two solos and one for a loss, George Tennant three solos and an assist, Dylan Glover two solos, one assist and Cory Chipps three solos and three assists.
The Silver Knights will be on the road against Webster County September 8, before hosting Ravenswood on September 15, at Knights Stadium.