By Anthony Jones, Reporter
After a slow start last Friday night, the football Knights managed to pull away for a 45-25 decision in their favor. The win was their third of the season, which is halfway to a guaranteed playoff spot. This also means they have already matched last season’s win total.
Triad started the game off with a bang thanks to Luke Foreman returning the opening kickoff to the 50 yard line. The drive was short lived however as the offense only advanced 14 more yards before a turnover on downs. The opposing Rams first drive stalled as well forcing them to punt the ball back to Triad.
Logan Wongler, Triad’s quarterback, broke free for a forty yard rush to push the ball into the home team’s territory. A few plays later, Foreman took a pitch 23 yards to the end zone to earn the first score of the day. Travis Speer knocked through an extra point to make the score 7-0.
The Rams received a kickoff from Speer after the score but the Triad defense stood tall again and forced another punt. The two teams traded punts back and forth into the second quarter until Triad had a turnover on downs to give the Rams possession back. Mount Vernon started a threatening drive on offense but they were stifled when Sam Yager intercepted a pass from the linebacker position.
The following Triad drive was more uptempo than their normal offense and featured a 35 yard pass to Anthony LaRue. The Knights ended up deep in the Ram’s territory with less than a minute left in the half. Speer attempted a 32 yard field goal, but unfortunately he had his first miss of the season. Mount Vernon’s offense kneeled the ball down to finish off the half.
Triad’s first defense blemish of the night came on the opening drive of the second half. Their opponents drove the ball 76 yards down the field for a touchdown, which included an errant snap on a punt turning into a huge gain for the Rams. Evan Leake provided the score for the opponents. A successful point after try made the score tied at 7-7.
Foreman’s first kickoff return of the second half set the Knight’s up at their own 44 yard line. Thanks to that great return, the offense was able to score quickly on a 12 yard run by Andrew McElligott. The Knights went up 14-7 after a successful Speer extra point kick.
Not to be outdone, the Rams came back with another successful drive. Leake earned his second touchdown of the night after taking a short pass 67 yards to the end zone. Mount Vernon’s special teams tied the game up with an extra point kick.
The scoring fest continued on Triad’s next drive. Foreman sprinted for 78 yards start the drive behind some great blocking by several players, including Amaziah Lusk. McElligott tallied his second touchdown of the evening on a 2 yard run. Triad failed to convert on their extra point as an error was made prior to the kick being attempted, which resulted in the holder unsuccessfully rushing towards the end zone.
Triad’s defense came up big and stopped the exchange of touchdowns on the following drive. Mount Vernon managed to go all the way to the away squad’s 17 yard line but hey were forced to kick a field goal to go down 20-17.
That score would change quickly thanks to Foreman returning the following kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. McElligott was given a handoff on the extra point attempt which he converted for 2 points. His score gave Triad a 28-17 advantage.
Defensively, Triad continued building momentum by forcing their opponents to punt. Due to their stop, the offense started their drive at their own 40 yard line. During that possession, the third quarter drew to a close. The drive culminated in a 32 yard field by Speer to put the visitors up by a score of 31-17.
A fumble on Mount Vernon’s next offense drive opened the game up. Triad was given a short field of 17 yards to traverse, of which McElligott earned 14 of on a scoring rush. That touchdown was his third of the night, making him the third different Triad player to score three times in one game this season. Speer yet again converted the extra point kick to go up 21 points.
A Speer touchback placed the opponents at their own 20 yard line. Due to the poor starting field position, the Rams were halted and forced to punt the ball back to Triad. The Knights seized the opportunity and drove down the field led by Lusk, who rushed for a 17 yard score. Speer was brought out for yet another extra point, which he converted.
Despite their being only a few minutes left in the game, the Rams offense continued to fight on their next drive. Leake provided another big play for them by snagging a deep pass that was thrown beautifully. This set them up at Triad’s 22 yard line. The following play, Leake threw a pass of his own to Lanzlae Wilson for a touchdown.
Leake was not done scoring on the evening as he caught a pass for a two point conversion, which put the Rams down 45-25. The home team tried for an onsides kick to regain possession but Devin Wilkins recovered the ball for Triad and sealed up the victory.
Next week, Triad will kickoff conference play by traveling the Waterloo Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are 1-2 after dropping their last two contests. Their loss last week came to Carbondale by a final score of 28-14.
Last year, Triad defeated Waterloo by a score of 28-14. The rest of the Bulldog’s season was no better as they went 0-9. Players to watch on Waterloo’s squad are Rick Smith (Quarterback) and Darren Carner (Middle Linebacker).