There is nothing sweeter for a high school football team than to get a win at the last home game of the year in front of a supportive crowd, which is exactly what the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights did on Friday, getting the 39-12 win over the South Harrison Hawks at Knight Stadium.
"They came out and did exactly what we already knew they were going to do," said Knight head coach Ryan Walton.
"It was a very physical game on both sides and that's the kind of game fans want to watch."
The eight senior members of the Silver Knight varsity football team were honored immediately before the last home game of the season on Friday night featuring Tyler Consolidated vs. South Harrison at Knight Stadium. The seniors are pictured above with members of their families: Troy Watson, Ryley Warner, Curtis Shepherd, Swen Scheidemantel, Josh Ruble, Skyler Leasure, Cole Kocher and Jacob Highley.
"We had an entire team effort in this game, not just one or two guys stepping up to highlight their own individual performances. Everybody performed and performed well."
The Silver Knights put their first score of the night on the scoreboard with senior Jacob Highley running the ball in six yards for six points. Still in the first, sophomore quarterback Jordan Baker got hold of the ball and took it 65 yards for the second Knight score of the game. Baker then tossed the conversion pass to Josh Ruble for the extra two.
With just over five minutes to play in the second Baker turned on the afterburners to take a punt return in for a Knight TD. Within the next three minutes, it was Highley scoring his second six points of the night with a four yard run in for six.
Before the first half ended with the seconds quickly ticking off the clock, the Hawks lit up their own side of the scoreboard with six points on a one yard run, putting the home team with a decided lead at the half, 26-6.
In the opening two minutes of the third period, it was the Knight's Baker again on a quarterback keeper, taking the ball in 25 yards for the score, followed by Ruble's extra point.
With less than three minutes to go before the third quarter was to end, Baker let loose a sweet 71 yard arial pass to Swen Scheidemantel for the last Knight touchdown of the game. The Hawks put together a late game score on a 62 yard run, putting the end score at 39-12, Knights.
"I was glad that we were able to send our seniors out with a win," Walton said. "These seniors are a great bunch of guys. Me coming into the program for my first year as head coach, I've relied on them pretty heavily to be leaders on the field and off. They've worked hard and have earned respect."
"I'm pretty darn proud of them and what they've been able to accomplish this year."
In the game, quarterback Jordan Baker completed seven of 10 passes for 115 yards.
Scheidemantel had two catches for 81 yards in the win; Highley caught one Baker pass for 15 yards; and Cooper had a catch for seven yards.
Baker gained 97 yards on four rushes; Highley had 14 carries for 82 yards; Cole Kocher, two carries for 43 yards; Josh Ruble, five carries for 28 yards; Jace Reed, eight rushes for 25 yards; and Skyler Leasure, one carry for four yards.
Defensively for the Knights: Cole Kocer had one solo tackle and two assists; Scheidemantel, two solo tackles, two assists; Leasure, three solo tackles, three assists; Kyle Frum, two solos, two assists; Hogan Wells, two solos, one assist; Highley, one solo, three assists; Colby Lash, two solos; Baker, two solos; Ruble, one solo, one assist; Nick Anderson, two solo tackles, three assists; Troy Watson, seven assists; Dillon Glover, one solo; Kordell Stewart, two solos, two assists; Austin Thompson, one solo; Curtis Shepard, one solo; Trent Smith batted down a pass; and Brandon Keys, one solo tackle.
The Silver Knights will travel to Ritchie County on Friday for a match-up with the 5-2 Rebels. "This is a big game for us," coach Walton said. "They are big up front, they have speed and a nice quarterback, a little bit of everything. This is going to be a real challenge for our defense."
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.