By Anthony Jones, Reporter
Triad’s football team lost their first contest this past week by a score of 21-7 to their rivals from Highland. The loss puts the Knights in a three way tie for first place in their conference with Civic Memorial and Highland. Their record on the season now sits at 6-1.
The Knights started off the game with a kickoff to their foes that landed out of bounds, giving the Bulldogs a start at their own 40 yard line. Highland took advantage of their starting position and took a 6 minute drive before scoring on a 7 yard scamper by Logan Chandler. Hunter Swift tacked on an extra point to put his team up 7-0.
Triad’s special teams came through on the following kickoff to bring the ball out to their own 37 yard line. The offense pushed the ball deep into Highland territory and scored a touchdown, but it was called back due to a holding call by the referees. Subsequently, they were forced into attempting a field goal. Highland made a big play on that attempt by tipping the kick, which caused it to miss.
The first quarter expired on the field goal attempt, so the Bulldogs started the second quarter with the ball on their own 20 yard line. Triad’s defense quickly stifled their opponent’s drive to force them to punt. This resulted in the Triad offense getting to start at the Highland 45 yard line for the ensuing drive.
Logan Wongler delivered for his team with a lengthy rush on the drive to put his offense at the Bulldog’s 22 yard line. Triad ended up attempting to convert on a fourth down from the Highland 18 yard line but they were unsuccessful and turned the ball over on downs. This set the visiting squad up at their own 15 yard line with 7 minutes left in the half.
The Bulldogs led a slow and methodical drive down into the Knight’s territory. Triad’s defense put them into a fourth and one situation, but Chandler converted with a 34 yard touchdown rush to take a 13-0 lead. Swift booted another extra point kick to make the score 14-0.
Drew Straub had a great return for Triad on the following kickoff to start the Knights at their own 45 yard line. Ultimately, Triad was unable to take advantage of their starting field position since their drive ended after throwing an interception to Highland’s Conner Sands. The visitors chose to run out the clock after the interception and go into half with a 14-0 lead.
The Knights opened the second half by bringing their opponents kickoff out to their own 27 yard line. Triad kept possession of the football for several minutes as they drove deep into Highland territory. Unfortunately for the Knights, they turned over the ball on downs again, this time at the Bulldog’s 25 yard line.
The Knights defense surrendered only 11 yards before forcing their foes into a fourth down situation. The Bulldogs were able to convert however on a 64 yard touchdown run by Chandler. Swift booted another point after attempt to extend the Bulldog’s lead to 21.
The next two offense drives featured a punt from both teams as well as the end of the third quarter. This resulted in the Knights having the ball at their own 33 yard line with around 8 minutes left in the game. Triad pushed the ball onto Highland’s side of the field with a trick play that ended with their quarterback Wongler catching the ball at Highland’s 42 yard line.
The Knights extended the drive into the red zone where they were faced with a fourth down at the Bulldog 19 yard line. Triad managed to gain 8 yards on the play but still feel short of a first down, so they turned the ball over on downs. The Knights defense quickly forced a Highland punt that ended with the Knights taking possession at their opponent’s 34 yard line. Devin Wilkins caught a 21 yard pass from Wongler to end the shutout.
Speer tacked on the point after try to make the score 21-7. His following kickoff pinned Highland back at their own 7 yard line where they ran out time on the clock to leave with a 21-7 victory.
The Knights will play host to the Civic Memorial Eagles for their next game. Civic Memorial holds a 5-2 record on the season and a 3-1 record in conference. The winner of the contest will finish conference play tied for the conference title or in sole possession if Jerseyville defeats Highland.
Civic Memorial’s two losses of the season came against Cahokia and Highland. Players to watch for the Eagles are Noah Turbyfill (Quarterback), Nick Walker(Linebacker/Running Back), and Chandler Powell(Linebacker/Running Back).