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Tyler Spoils Valley Lumberjacks' Senior Night

November 1, 2017
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Tyler Consolidated dialed long distance to spoil the Valley Lumberjacks senior night by the score of 51-8, Oct. 27 on Tom West Field.

Both teams came into the contest needing a win to stay afloat if they wanted any chance of making the WVSSAC Class-A playoffs, and it looked early on it might be a barn-burner.

However the Knights quickly showed their dominance as Griffin Phillips stepped in front of the 'Jacks Tyler Kocher pass and returned it to the 27-yard line midway through period one. On the first play, Phillips covered the distance to the end zone to give the Knights a lead they would never relinquish. Phillips connected with Mark Rucker for the two-point conversion for the 8-0 lead.

Article Photos

Photo by Bruce Crawford
Valley High School’s senior athletes were recently honored for their high school achievements.

Valley took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the 27-yard line only to come up empty when the Silver Knights came away with their second interception of the night, giving them the ball back on the nine yard line, with 1:45 to go in the first.

Tyler Consolidated would go 51-yards in nine plays giving the Knights a first down at the 41. From their, Phillips dropped back and spotted a wide-open Rucker for a 41-yard touchdown early in the second period. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the score stood at 14-0.

After another change of possession, Rucker added his second score of the night when he broke free for a 70-yard scamper with 4:51 still showing in the second. Phillips added the extra point kick and it was now 21-0.

The Knights stopped Valley on its next possession, and with only :31 seconds to play before halftime, senior Kyle Mason took a handoff and rambled 80-yards, sprinting past two defenders for the score. Phillips hit Rucker once more on the conversion pass and the Knights took a commanding 29-0 halftime lead.

"They were clicking on all cylinders. Rucker is probably the fastest player we've seen besides Freddy Canary from South Harrison. And to only be a sophomore, that's really impressive," said Lumberjacks coach Logan Miller.

"Their coaches do a nice job of getting him the ball and they have two really good athletes in him and Phillips. We still have a chance to finish 6-4 which hasn't happened too many times in the past years, so we still have a lot to play for. We are a senior-laden team and I don't have a problem with leadership, we'll be alright."

Tyler picked right up in the second half where they left off as Rucker took the kickoff all the way 65-yards to give the Knights a 36-0 lead, after the extra point kick.

Rucker added two more scores in the quarter on runs of one yard and another on a 46-yard burst to up the score to 51-0 with 2:50 to play in the third. Phillips added another extra point kick after the first one and Mason caught a two point conversion pass from Southerly to end the Knights scoring.

Valley dented its side of the scoreboard with 6:35 to play in the game on a one yard run by Kocher, and a two point conversion pass from Kocher to Austin Lowe to break-up the shut-out.

Kocher was 14-of-22 passes for 101 yards, with Lowe hauling in five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown, while Travis Leek added two catches for 18-yards. Gavin Streets grabbed a pair for 12-yards, while Peyton Bassett hauled in three for six yards. Levi Streets grabbed two passes for seven yards.

On the ground, Streets led the Lumberjacks with 76 yards on 19 carries, while Kocher gained 41-yards on 12 carries and a score. Leek tacked on nine yards on a pair of carries.

Rucker paced the Silver Knights with 163 yards, while Phillips added 82 yards on six carries and a score. Mason carried one time for 80 yards and a score.

The Knights had four penalties for 30 yards and fumbled twice losing one. Valley fumbled seven times losing three, and was penalized three times for 30-yards.

The Valley Lumberjacks will head down off the hill to take on county rival Paden City for this year's Wetzel County bragging rights Friday at 7 p.m. on the 'Cats Senior Night.



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