Tyler Takes it to Rival Magnolia at Home, 66-12
SISTERSVILLE – The Tyler Consolidated-Magnolia rivalry has been a one-sided affair throughout the years. The Silver Knights turned the tables in a big way on Friday as they routed the Blue Eagles 61-12 on Senior Night.
Entering the contest, Magnolia held a 22-4 series lead but senior Mark Rucker (130 yards rushing and five total touchdowns), freshman Jayden Helmick (95 yards rushing and four combined scores) and senior QB Gage Huffman (105 all-purpose yards and two passing TDs) helped lead Tyler to its fifth win in the rivalry.
“This is huge,” Tyler Coach Ryan Walton said. “Of these five wins, this senior class has two of them. Hopefully, the young kids got a taste of it and they keep building.”
Tyler scored on its first two offensive plays of the game and on four separate drives needed just one explosive play to find the end zone.
The Silver Knights led 30-0 only 7:07 into the game.
“The big thing (Friday) is that it wasn’t one guy doing it,” Walton said. “It was a team effort. Jayden Helmick made some nice plays out there and you can’t say enough about Rucker. He’s a special kid and he’s definitely going to be missed by many.”
Helmick started the fireworks with a 40-yard touchdown run 17 seconds into the game.
After a Magnolia three-and-out, it was Rucker showing off the cutback moves as he avoided defenders for a 23-yard TD run.
On Magnolia’s next drive, Rucker got to quarterback Caden Cisar, forced a fumble and rumbled 33 yards to paydirt for a quick 22-0 upper hand.
“We can’t say enough about defense and we can’t say enough about our offense,” Walton said. “Special teams did some little things that people would have no idea went on. Our special teams came out and played hard and did what we wanted them to do.”
The Silver Knights began to take some time off the clock on their next drive as they needed 2:06 to march down the field. Huffman found Helmick for a 34-yard scoring strike to make it a 30-0 advantage with 4:52 left in the opening quarter.
“That’s a darn good football team and they kicked our tails,” Magnolia Coach Dave Chapman said. “They were kind of who we thought they were. We turned the ball over a couple times, they scored early and got up.
“But our kids battled and worked hard in the second half. You find out a lot about yourself through adversity. It’s never as bad as it seems but it will always get better.”
Rucker added the next three Tyler scores on a 15-yard reception from Huffman, where he juked out two defenders on his way to the end zone, and runs of 52 and 48 – both the only plays of the drive.
“Rucker is as good as there is in the state,” Chapman said. “He’s electric, he’s got speed, he’s got power and he’s got great vision. He’s got it all and I wish him all the luck.”
Helmick tacked on the last two scores for the Knights with a 41-yard touchdown burst and a 44-yard interception returned for six.
Jacob Medley also had an interception for the Silver Knights.
Silas McKeever was a bright spot for Magnolia as he rushed for 203 yards and scored the first Blue Eagles’ TD with 8:40 to play in the third, while fresh-off an early season injury, Marcus Barnes added 73-yards on 12-carries and a 6-yard touchdown run. McKeever also caught 1-pass, and Barnes 2-passes Caden Cisar connected on 3-passes for 14-yards and 3-interceptions. The Big Blue did move the chains 11-times to 13-for the Knights, while Magnolia lost 15-yards on 3-penalties, and Tyler lost 41-yards on 6-infractions
Defensively, the Blue Eagles Mikey Hamrick recorded 6-tackles, with 1 going for loss of yards Braden Vargo had 5-tackles with 2-going for loss of yardage. Charlie Powell, Kaleb Starkey, Kolbee Cecil and Barnes each making 4-tackles, with Cecil getting the teams lone quarterback sack.
Magnolia has 2-games remaining in the season, in Fort Frye Nov. 1 at home, and Nov. 8 at Wheeling Central with both games getting underway at 7 p.m. ..
(Bruce Crawford added to the story)