WESTON—The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights hit the road, making the small jaunt down to Weston on Wednesday, to take on the Patriots of Robert L. (RL) Bland Middle School.
The Knights came out tough after kickoff, and on the first play of the game, defender Randall Grogg was quick to put the ball back into the hands of the TCMS offense, when he recovered a fumbled Patriots ball.
The momentum carried into the next couple of plays, and with just 23 seconds off of the clock, Cash Nestor found the back of the end zone for a Knights touchdown. With his point after attempt good, the TCMS was on the board and in the lead 8-0, with 7:37 left to play in the first quarter.
The Patriots would try to move the ball down the field, however with just over five minutes left in the quarter, Cole Boyles recovered the football for the Knights after the Patriot center botched his snap.
The Knights continued to move closer to the end zone, and just over a minute later, Carter Gillespie carried the ball across the goal line or another Knights touchdown.
Nestor would once again punch through the defense with a victorious conversion, bringing the score to 16-0 in favor of the Knights, with just under four minutes left in the first.
The Patriots were set to battle it out with the TCMS defense, but the line proved to be too strong, forcing a turnover on downs with 1:45 left in the opening quarter of play.
The Knights capitalized on their next series and opened the second quarter with a touchdown, this time from quarterback Chace Kinsey. Nestor made easy work of the conversion, walking it in to bump the lead for the Knights to 24-0, with 7:02 left in the half.
The second quarter saw the entry of the Knights younger players, Beltner used his lead to allow the second string to gain valuable playing time.
“Our starters played pretty good in the first quarter,” voiced Head Coach Bobby Beltner. “We were able to begin subbing in second quarter and were able to play our younger guys throughout the rest of the game.”
With strong play on both sides of the ball, TCMS was able to snag another touchdown this time, at the hands of Devin Moore 20.7 seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded.
Isaac Young took his chance at the PAT, but he was brought down short.
As the Knights entered the locker room at the half, the score stood in their favor 30-0.
The third quarter saw both teams making forward progress, but for much of the quarter no one was able to break the plane. That was, until RL Bland was able to run it into the corner of the end zone, finally getting on the board with just 1:26 left in the quarter.
After a failed conversion, the score sat at 30-6, in favor of the Knights.
TCMS was quick to answer, and 19 seconds later, Moore found the end zone once more, with his second Knights TD of the night. And with Rondo Koontz’s completed conversion, the Knights increased their lead 38-6.
The final touchdown of the night came from Koontz, when he ran the ball in with 6:18 left in the game. Young’s PAT was good, and the Knights found themselves walking away with the win, 46-6.
Beltner shared that he was pleased with the way his team performed on both sides of the ball Wednesday evening.
“Offensively, we ran the ball well and had nine different players record carries,” he explained. “In defense, we played pretty solid for the most part. We just have a few areas to clean up, including our tackling. Our special teams were solid all game, and I was satisfied that we were able to convert five out of our six 2-point conversions.”
The Knights are hoping to carry the momentum from this win into Wednesday night’s matchup against a strong Buckhannon team.
“This Buckhannon team is very good, and this game is going to be a tall task for sure,” Beltner expressed.
He reminds Knights fans that spirit week begins on Monday at the school, and that the second annual parade will take over downtown Grafton beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“Wednesday’s game is a blackout, so wear your black and come cheer on the Knights,” Belter urged.
Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m., at Grafton High School, on McKinney Field.
Team stats: 24 carries, 258yards, 6 rushing touch downs (TDs)
Individual player stats: Cash Nestor: 3 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD, 3 conversions; Carter Gillespie: 1 carry, 10 yards, 1TD; Jacob Moats: 1 carry, 14 yards, 5 tackles; Garrett Davis: 1 carry, 38 yards, 1 tackle; Chace Kinsey: 2 carries, 10 yards, 1TD, 1 tackle; Isaac Young: 2 carries, 10 yards, 1 conversion, 2 tackles; Rondo Koontz: 10 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD, 1 conversion, 1 tackle; JW Nestor: 2 carries, 34 yards, 2 tackles; Devin Moore: 2 carries, 54 yards, 2 TDs, 2 tackles; Caden Taylor: 5 tackles; Tanner Lipscomb: 4 tackles; Randall Grogg: 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery; Jace McCoy: 2 tackles; Trenton Smith: 2 tackles; Cole Boyles: 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery; Ian Cunningham: 1 tackle; Jackson Hildreth: 1 tackle.