PRUNTYTOWN—The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights Football program opened their season with a win against Mountaineer Middle School Mountain Lions, on Wednesday night.
The Knights were ready for action, and their enthusiasm and drive carried over onto the field, as they downed the Mountain Lions 20-6.
TCMS’s Cash Nestor would be the first to strike a blow against Mountaineer Middle, finding the endzone just two minutes into the first quarter. Carter Gillespie’s conversion was successful, and the Knights found themselves up 8-0, with just six minutes left to go in the first.
The Knights defense proved to be a dominating force, keeping the Mountain Lions out of scoring position, and forcing them to punt the ball away.
TCMS regained possession with just 53 seconds left in the first quarter, and as the time ticked down, the Knights entered the second quarter on top, the score still sitting at 8-0.
The second quarter saw the Knights struggling to make headway, however on a third and long, Nestor came in with a clutch first down for the Knights, with 3:45 left in the first, not only gaining ground, but hyping up the team.
The enthusiasm and momentum carried into the next possessions, and with 2:01 left in the half Nestor once again rushed into the endzone for a TCMS touchdown. Unfortunately, Gillespie’s conversion fell short, but the Knights strengthened their lead to 14-0.
Determined to keep the Mountain Lions at bay, the Knights came out in the third quarter with possession of the ball but were unable to capitalize on their possession.
Mountaineer Middle saw a glimmer of hope, after recovering a fumbled ball, but the Knight’s defense proved too strong and the third would end with no scores from either team.
With 3:59 left in the fourth quarter, the hopes of a shutout were lost when the Mountain Lions finally found the endzone. However, their conversion attempt was brough down short, bringing the score to 14-6 in favor of the Knights.
The Knights answered with a Garrett Davis touchdown, adding six more to the board. After Gillespie was stopped short, the Knights increased their lead once more, with a score of 20-6.
As time ticked away with only 1:31 left in play, Braydon Taylor booted the onside kick, which was recovered by Devin Moore, securing the Knight’s win over Mountaineer Middle.
Head Coach Bobby Belter voiced that he was proud of the efforts he saw from his team but shared that there is still work to be done.
“Overall, it was not a bad opening game, we played okay, but we still have a lot to correct,” he explained. “But it was really nice to win our opening game of the season, and we hope to carry that into next week.”
The Knights will be back in action this Wednesday, September 7, when they travel to Lewis County to take on the Patriots of Robert L. Bland Middle School. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
Team stats: 32 carries, 242 yards, 3 rushing touch downs (TDs)
Individual player stats: Cash Nestor: 13 carries, 141 yards, 2 TDs, 6 tackles; Garrett Davis: 4 carries, 17 yards, 1 TD, 1 tackle; Jacob Moats: 7 carries, 50 yards, 5 tackles, forced fumble; Carter Gillespie: 5 carries, 33 yards, 2 tackles; Chace Kinsey: 2 carries, 1 yard, 2 tackles; Ian Cunningham: 5 tackles; Wyatt Cunningham: 3 tackles; Tenton Smith: 1 tackle; Cole Boyles: 1 tackle; Jace McCoy: 1 tackle, Devin Moore: 1 tackle, onside kick recovery; Randall Grogg: fumble recovery.