Magnolia Blanks Tyler Consolidated, 54-0
The Magnolia Blue Eagle offense accumulated 504 total yards, while the defense yielded a mere 78 yards against the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights in Kidwell Sept. 11, in a 54-0 rout.
The Blue Eagle defense has been key to Magnolia’s success so far this season and in this game. The Eagles have shut out two of the three teams they have faced, with last year’s Class A Champion Williamstown Yellowjackets, the only team to score, with 12 points. While the Big Blue offense has scored 130 points, the defense kept Tolsia and Tyler to well under 100 total yards.
It took only three plays for the Blue Eagles to march 67 yards in their opening possession, capped off with a Justin Fox 16 yard quarterback keeper for a TD. Fox was true on the extra point kick to give the visiting Eagles a 7-0 lead.
With the Magnolia defense keeping the high-flying Silver Knights in check, the Big Blue offense didn’t have to travel too far to score a second TD, with Timmy Shreve ending the first period with a four yard run. Fox missed the conversion kick and Magnolia held a 13-0 lead after one period of play.
In the second period, Fox scored the next 20 Blue Eagle points, including a three-yard scamper, after the Eagles’ Cole Mullett intercepted the Silver Knights quarterback. Fox misfired on the two-point conversion pass. However, he was on the money for the next two conversion kicks, one following a 23-yard gallop into the end zone and then a one-yard skip, giving the Blue Eagles a 33-0 lead at the break.
Traeh Keller ran in five yards for the first of three Blue Eagle touchdowns in the third period. Dillon Jackson scored the final two TDs, the first on a 20 yard run and a second score when he hauled in a Knight fumble and ran it back 40 yards for the final tally. After each, Fox split the uprights for points after the final score 54-0.
“We jumped on the Knights early and then played great defense,” said MHS Head Coach Mark Batton. “I can’t give enough credit to Coach Bob Ripley and Coach Dave Grandstaff for what they do with our defense. We take pride in our defense. These guys just go to the ball and that is the key. We had a lot of team tackling and that was good to see.”
The defense was led by the dynamic duo of Zach Neff and Davey “Hit Man” Howell. Neff had four solo tackles, three of which were for loss of yardage. He also assisted on six others, while Howell had one solo tackle for loss of yardage and assisted on eight tackles.
In addition, Jackson had nine tackles for the Eagles, four of them solos, while recovering a Knight fumble and running it back 45 yards for a score. Keller contributed one tackle for a loss of yardage and assisted on five others, while Sam Shepherd had one solo stops and six assists. Fox and Mullett each picked off the Silver Knights quarterback.
The Blue Eagle defense held the Knights to only six first downs in the game. It also held Tyler’s star running back, Nate Taylor, to 31 yards on 16 carries. In a game against Roane two weeks ago, Taylor had rushed for a career-high 270 yards and six touchdowns.
Offensively, Jackson rambled for a season-high 129 yards and scored two touchdowns, while Fox added 62 yards on 10 carries and scored four touchdowns. He also added five PATs and passed 10-17 for 187 yards.
Bill O’Neil netted 48 yards on seven totes, while Keller netted 20 yards on three carries and one touchdown. Derek Fruner, normally on the receiving side of Fox passes, rushed for 25 yards on one carry. Shreve scored a TD and netted 17 yards on three carries, while Zach Aarick, Jayson Keller and Tanner Hanna each netted positive yards.
Jared Blatt caught six Fox passes for 88 yards, while Cameron Benson netted 75 yards on three receptions. Traeh Keller caught the final Fox pass for 24 yards.
The Eagles will host the rival River Pilots this Friday at 7:30 p.m.