Silver Knights Outmuscle Buffalo
SISTERSVILLE – Tyler Consolidated has showcased its speed up to this point in the season but on Friday, Coach Ryan Walton wanted to keep an eye on how his young Silver Knights lined up against a hard-nosed Buffalo squad.
Of course, the Knights rattled off several big plays on offense, but the defense held the Bison to a mere two scores in a 28-14 victory.
The 14 points allowed by Tyler ties a season-low for points given up by its defense.
“The biggest thing that I’m going to take out of the game is that (Buffalo) is a physical football team and we did a good job of holding up when we had to,” Walton said. “Our younger guys kind of got thrown into the fire this season and they found out what physical football is like. Buffalo put some shots on us (Friday). They are going to get some wins but I’m tickled to death to get a win and I’d take it any day.”
Case Landis delivered a pair of sacks and Garon Broughman tallied one for Tyler, while Jayden Helmick and Gage Huffman collected interceptions and the Knights held Buffalo’s quarterback, Jackson England, without a completion until 4:23 remaining in the game.
On offense, all-state tailback Mark Rucker wasted no time getting started as he broke a 67-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play from scrimmage and added a 63-yard jaunt in the second quarter to put Tyler up 14-6 with 11:36 to play in the first.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy. It just so happened that coach made a good call there and we caught them in the defense that we wanted them in and if you give Mark a little bit of space he will hurt you if he gets the opportunity.”
Tyler’s first two scoring drives combined to take only 29 seconds off the clock.
Rucker ran for 134 yards on his first five carries of the game and finished with 24 rushes for 228 yards and three scores.
After hitting Buffalo with Rucker’s lightning early, the Knights strung together a long and methodical drive that began at their 14 and culminated 8:11 later with a 4-yard plunge by Rucker with 45 seconds left before halftime, giving Tyler a 22-6 advantage at the break.
“That drive definitely picked us up,” Walton said. “Anytime you can take time off the clock and put points on the board, that is huge. At that time the offensive line stepped up and started opening some holes. It wasn’t the big plays that we hit in the past but we were chugging along. If we can do that every time I’d be happy.”
The march was setup by a roughing the punter after the Bison had the Knights stopped. Huffman also got Buffalo to jump offside on fourth-and-four thanks to a strong hard count.
After a Buffalo score, Huffman put the game on ice as he floated a pass to Helmick, who raced 72 yards to paydirt.
“Our offensive coaches made a good adjustment throughout the game,” Walton said. “We ran it earlier and (Helmick) wasn’t the primary receiver and he hit the slant. But the second time the kids executed and made the play when they had to.”
Huffman threw for 182 yards and Helmick racked up 105 yards receiving.The Tyler defense handled the rest as it kept Buffalo off the board in the final stanza to head into Week 8 with a 4-2 record.
Brock paced Buffalo with 154 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Rushing: Buffalo 35-220-2td (Lovejoy 9-60-td, Brock 21-154-td, England 8-4, Jones 1-2), Tyler Consolidated 40-260-3td (Rucker 24-228-3td, Huffman 12-18, Helmick 3-12, Walton 1-2).
Passing: Buffalo 2-6-18-2x (all by England), Tyler Consolidated 7-16-182-td (Huffman 7-14-182-td, Rucker 0-2).
Receiving: Buffalo 2-18 (Jones 1-11, Cam. Lovejoy 1-7), Tyler Consolidated 7-182-td (Helmick 2-105-td, Rucker 1-2, Landis 3-65, Timmons 1-10).
First Downs: Buffalo 12, Tyler Consolidated 17. Penalties: Buffalo 9-65, Tyler Consolidated 3-25. Fumbles-Lost: Buffalo 1-1, Tyler Consolidated 0-0.