PRUNTYTOWN—On a chilly, rainy night at McKinney Field, the Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights took on the Bulldogs of Tygarts Valley Middle School (TVMS).
And while the rain threatened to dampen the spirits of the Knights, they rallied and proved to be an unstoppable force on the field.
Just a minute and a half into play, Kaden Keener found the endzone with ease for TCMS, and after a successful two-point conversion by Troy Weber, the Knights were up 8-0.
The Bulldogs found themselves having trouble moving the ball against the Knight defenders and would suffer a turnover on downs.
TCMS capitalized on their possession, and with 3:49 left in the first quarter, Keener rushed into the endzone on a 28-yard carry, claiming another Knight touchdown. This time, the two-point conversion was completed by Jaxon Hall, bringing the score to 16-0 in favor of the Knights.
As the Knights lined up for kickoff, little did they know the excitement that was about to unfold. Isaac Young brought possession of the ball back to TCMS, when he recovered his own onside kick.
Building off that burst of energy, Hall ran downfield for a 34-yard touchdown for the Knights. Weber’s two-point conversion was once again good, upping the Knights another eight points, bringing the score to 24-0, with 2:52 left to play in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs rallied to gain their footing and some good field position, but the Knight defense wouldn’t allow much movement.
With 1:03 left in the first, Knight quarterback Chace Kinsey was able to snag a TVMS pass, setting his team up with great field position.
Once again, the TCMS team would capitalize on another great play, and with 52 seconds remaining on the clock, Kenner found the endzone once more, this time on a 47-yard carry.
The ball was handed off to TCMS’s Cole Runner for the extra point attempt, who would quickly make his way through Bulldog defenders, crossing over the goal line, and bringing the score to 32-0.
The second quarter saw back-and-forth action, but both teams would fall short in their scoring efforts, and the Knights entered half time with a hefty lead over the Bulldogs, 32-0.
Coming out of the locker room after their break, the Bulldogs were hungry for revenge, and before the end of play in the third, they managed to make it across the goal line.
However, their extra point attempt was stopped short, making the score 32-6, but TVMS was able to hold the Knights scoreless in the third.
TCMS would be quick to answer back, with only three minutes chipped off the clock at the start of the fourth, Kinsey found the endzone, adding six more points to the score board. Young was not able to complete his extra point attempt, bringing the score to 38-6.
The remainder of the fourth quarter saw both teams struggling to cross the goal line. When the buzzer sounded, the score was 38-6 in favor of the Knights.
“Because of the nature of the contest, we were able to put our younger guys in to play the last three quarters of the game,” said Knights Head Coach Bobby Belter. “These kids have worked so hard all year and are getting better every day, so it was great learning experience for them.”
“The team just played really well as a whole for the entire game,” he added.
The Knights will be back in action on Wednesday, September 29, when take on the Hornets of Elkins Middle School.
Individual player stats: Kaden Keener: 8 carries, 166 yards, 3 TDs, 3 tackles, Jaxson Hall: 1 carry, 34 yards, 1 T, Chace Kinsey: 2 carries, 11 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception, Isaac Young: 6 carries, 15 yards, Jonathan Maier: 4 carries, 42 yards, 4 tackles, Cole Runner: 2 carries, 4 yards, 3 tackles, Wyatt Cunningham: 5 tackles, Troy Weber: 3 tackles, Jacob Mlinarcik: 3 tackles.