Tyler Steamrolls Calhoun
Visiting Tyler Consolidated went into Mount Zion Sept. 14, looking for a win for the football team. The Knights did not disappoint. They put 41 points on the first half scoreboard, despite pulling most of their starters halfway through the second quarter. The Silver Knights’ second unit finished the game, and the Knights rolled to a 47-6 victory.
Calhoun County took the opening kick-off and went three and out. The fourth down punt was shanked and went just nine yards. From there, it took the Knights just two plays to find the end zone as junior All-Stater Mark Rucker took the hand-off from Griffin Phillips and raced 35 yards untouched to give the Knights a 6-0 lead with 10:06 still left on the first quarter clock.The extra point attempt failed.
On the home team’s second possession, they were again forced to punt as they couldn’t move the ball. Rucker took the punt and returned it 30 yards, giving the Silver Knights great field position at the four-yard line. Two plays later, Phillips took the snap and went in for the second score with plenty of time left on the first quarter clock. Phillips then hit Rucker on a slant pass for the two-point conversion, and the Knights led 14-0 with 7:42 still on the clock.
From there, things started to get worse for Calhoun; they were forced into another punting situation, and Rucker took the kick and raced 44 yards to the end zone to up the count to 21-0 after a Phillips kick and 5:59 still to go in the opening period.
Calhoun fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Silver Knights recovered near the 22-yard line. On the next play Phillips tossed one to sophomore Gage Huffman who took it to the house on a 78-yard pass and run play, to up the count to 27-0. The extra point attempt was off the mark.
The Knights added another score at the 9:55 mark of the second period on Rucker’s third score of the game – a six-yard end sweep.
Phillips added the extra point, and the Knights had a comfortable 34 point lead. At that point Coach Walton started using his second unit and mixing players in and out to keep the score from going any higher.
However, with 7:33 still on the second quarter clock, the Knights found the end zone again on a one-yard burst from Austin Craven. Phillips added the point after, and the Knights led 41-0.
Calhoun took over with the Knights resting its starters and put on a mini drive to take some time off the clock. The Knights got the last possession before the half but failed to add another.
The third quarter saw Tyler Consolidated’s Parker Leasure score on a one-yard run with 4:03 left to make it 47-0 after the point after kick was blocked.
Calhoun then got a scoring drive of its own going, capped by Mason Nicholas’ 13-yard run. The two-point conversion run failed, and with 2:19 to play in the quarter, the score stood at the final count 47-6.
Tyler Consolidated now stands at 1-2 on the season with a home contest with Wirt County scheduled for Friday night. The Silver Knights have some tough opponents left to play, but with efforts like Friday’s, they could still win several more games
“We worked hard the past couple weeks and worked on improving our line play. Calhoun’s down a little this year, but they were a big team and had a very nice quarterback. I thought our kids played very well and could have named their score, but that’s not how we do things here at TCHS. We also didn’t want to take any chances of getting someone banged up. We’ll go back to work this week and prepare for Wirt County,” said Coach Walton.
The Silver Knights racked up 233 rushing yards on 35 carries, with Rucker getting 37 and two touchdowns on just two carries. Phillips carried three times for 23 yards and a touchdown, while Jacob America ended with 71 yards on 13 totes, and Craven got 80 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. The Knights went 7-7 passing for 172 yards all by Phillips. Huffman caught two tosses for 78 yards and a touchdown. and Rucker grabbed three for 39 yards. Rucker also had 82 return yards on the night despite playing about a quarter and a half – along with Phillips. Defensively the Knights had Jake Rice with 11 tackles and Riley Leasure with nine.
The Knights led in first downs, 10-7, and were penalized three times for 30 yards. They also lost one of three fumbles. Calhoun ended with 64 yards rushing on 18 carries and 122 yards passing on 10 attempts.
Tyler Consolidated will celebrate homecoming this Friday, as they host Wirt County in a 7 p.m. contest. The Knights will be looking for their second straight win. This writer predicts the Silver Knights will get the win, 36-14.