It was drama from the get-go on Friday night in Ritchie County as the Class AA Rebels welcomed the Silver Knights of Tyler Consolidated to town for a energy filled night of high school football.
With the scoreboard reading :35 to go in the game, the Knights had nothing to lose. With the score tied at 14 they decided to take their biggest risk of the night on a Jordan Baker pass to Swen Scheideman-tel. The pass was good, Scheidemantel scored and the Knights won their fourth game of the season, 20-14.
"This is our best win to date," said Knight Head Coach Ryan Walton. "It was really emotional for the boys. They've worked so hard and it was good to see them realize how that work paid off in success. I'm very proud of all of them."
Quarterback Jordan Baker and the Knight offense get their game plan together.
The 5-2 Rebels opened up the scoring in the game with 1:58 to play in the first when they ran in one yard for six points, followed by the extra point, taking the lead, 7-0.
The two teams battled for possession the entire second period, trading downs until the clock read :19. Just as the buzzer was about to sound to signal the half, senior Jacob Highley took the football in four yards for the first Knight touchdown of the game. When the extra point kick failed, the teams headed to the locker room with the home team ahead in the contest, 7-6.
Another battle ensued in the third with neither team giving an inch on the field. With just over a minute to play, it was Highley again on another four yarder for the Silver and Black for six points. The senior running back got the nod to carry in the extra point conversion as well, putting Consolidated in the lead in the game at this point, 14-6.
A Ritchie County pass in the opening minutes of the fourth period, followed by the extra point kick, soon had the teams knotted at 14 all.
The defensive war continued throughout the last quarter until the :35 mark when Baker found Scheidemantel with a pass for the winning TD for the 20-14 win.
"Our kids played hard," Coach Walton said. "Both teams played hard, it was a good defensive game. Our assistant coaches deserve some of the credit for the win with the strategies they worked on and came up with. This win was a total team effort."
"The kids played with passion, played our game, stuck with our plan, and we got the win. It's a good feeling."
The Knights were penalized three times in the game for 25 yards; lost one of three fumbles. The Rebels were penalized three times in the game for 20 yards and lost two of three fumbles.
Tyler Consolidated had 270 rushing yards on 48 carries while the Rebels had 279 yards on the ground on 56 carries.
Quarterback Jordan Baker completed three of eight attempts, was intercepted twice and sacked twice.
Highley rushed 27 times to gain 164 yards for the Silver and Black. Baker ran 10 times for 43 yards and Josh Ruble carried the football twice for 10 yards.
Scheidemantel caught one pass for 40 yards; Cole Kocher had two catches for 13 yards.
Defensively for the Knights, Jacob Highley was credited with seven solo tackles, five assists, and a batted pass; Jordan Baker had five solo tackles; Kocher, three solo tackles, three assists, batted down a pass; Swen Scheidemantel, two solo tackles, four assists, one sack of the Ritchie Quarterback, batted down a pass; Kyle Frum, two solo tackles; Hogan Wells, two solo tackles, two assists; Colby Lash, two solo tackles, one interception, batted down a pass; Troy Watson, two solos, one assist; Skyler Leasure, one solo, one assist, one pass batted down; Kordell Stewart, one solo, one assist.
The Silver Knights travel to Wetzel County this Friday to take on the Valley Lumberjacks in what is sure to be another ground patrol battle.