Knights Drop Rivalry Game to Blue Eagles
From early in the season, to game time on Friday, the talk in neighbor Wetzel and Tyler counties was “Who’s going to win this year’s football match-up?” It seemed everyone knew the result would have playoff implications; the winner would probably sew up a post season game.
Tyler has been able to put a lot of points on the board this season, and the Silver Knights knew if they could stop the Blue Eagles’ offense, they had a chance to win on Magnolia’s alumni field at Bill Stewart Stadium. The Blue Eagles took the football on their first possession and drove down field for the first score when quarterback Pat Mirandy ran around right end for a five-yard touchdown. He then added the extra point kick to give the home team a 7-0 lead with 8:21 left in the opening quarter.
Not to be deined however, the Silver Knights scored on their first possession when Mark Rucker went over from a yard out, and Griffin Phillips added the extra point to pull even at seven. The Knights’ drive took just a minute and 19 seconds off the first quarter clock to make it 7-7 after Phillips’ kick. The game looked like it might be an offensive battle. The Blue Eagles got another quick score when Gage Adams, filling in for an injured Jason Beisel, made a nice 25-yard run, and Mirandy again added the kick. With 5:42 still left in the first, the score stood at 14-7. The Silver Knights quickly moved the ball down field after taking the ensuing kickoff and was looking to tie things up again, but a pass from Phillips to Gage Huffman got picked in the end zone by Magnolia’s Mirandy, who brought it out to the 10. From that point the momentum changed, and the Blue Eagles added another before the half on a 24-yard pass from Mirandy to Gaiser to make it 20-7, going into the half.
In the third quarter the Blue Eagles’ defense continued to shut down the Knights while adding a 31-yard Mirandy field goal and a three-yard touchdown from Adams to go up 30-7, entering the last quarter of play.
Magnolia sealed the win at the 10:39 mark of the fourth when the Blue Eagles drove the length of the field and got a one-yard touchdown plunge from Mikey Hamrick, and Mirandy added the kick. With the score now 37-7, the Silver Knights got back on the board with 3:18 to play when Phillips broke loose for the longest scoring play on the night, a 55-yard run. The conversion run failed, and the final count was 37-13, Magnolia.
The Silver Knights had 269 yards rushing on 29 carries with Hunter Forester picking 33 yards on five carries. Rucker got 104 yards and a touchdown on 15 totes, and Phillips led the way with 124 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. The Knights were 8-18 through the air for 60 yards and two interceptions with Rucker grabbing six passes for 53 yards. Gage Huffman got two for seven yards.
The Knights will play the Valley High School Lumberjacks Oct. 26 at home and then host St. Marys the following week. The Silver Knights must win both to have a shot at the playoffs.
“I just got done talking to the guys,” said Coach Ryan Walton. “Nothing’s easy at Tyler Consolidated it seems. We get ahead of .500, and then we back down to .500 again. It’s a constant battle for us. We have opportunities coming up. We have Valley this week and I told them everything that they feel right now, and all the emotion they got, they got to keep it under wraps and take and bring it out on Friday night and play their hearts out.”
“We have to keep clawing and get ourselves above .500 again, get to work, maybe end up 6-4, and get into the playoffs.”
Magnolia Coach Dave Chapman said, ” I’m just pleased with our kids’ effort. Rucker, Phillips and Forester – they’re top-notch football players. I don’t care what class. They’re sound football players.”
The Blue Eagles got a big game from Adams who ran for over 200 yards and two scores, while Mirandy ran for a score, passed for one, and kicked four extra points and a field goal to lift the Blue Eagles to the win.