By Anthony Jones, Reporter
Triad’s football season came to a close this past Saturday after losing to the Cyclones of Sacred Heart-Griffin. The team’s final record for the season was 7-4. They also were one of nine Triad teams ever to win a playoff game.
Triad started off the game by booting the opening kickoff out of bounce. The home team took advantage of their starting field position and threw a deep pass all the way down to the Knight’s 5 yard line. A yard rushing touchdown a few plays later and a missed extra point gave the Cyclones a 6-0.
Triad’s first offensive drive started at their own 20 yard line following a touchback. Quarterback Logan Wongler delivered a big run to move the ball to close to mid field, but Triad was ultimately forced to punt. Roger Wolf’s punt managed to pin Sacred Heart-Griffen back at their own 13 yard line.
Triad’s defense made a huge play quickly in the form of an Everett Walsh fumble recovery to give their offense the ball back. The Knights appeared to have scored a touchdown with the short field, but it was called back due to penalty. The drive ended shortly afterwards with a turnover on downs at their opponent’s 13 yard line.
The home team led a short drive downfield but Triad’s defense forced them into a punt before anymore scoring could be done. Triad fielded the punt at their own 38 yard, which gave them great starting position yet again. Both Wongler and Luke Foreman had big plays to push the offense forward before the first quarter ended.
Early on in the second quarter, the Knights were faced with a fourth and thirteen at their opponent’s 27 yard line. They were able to convert both for a first down and a touchdown when Amaziah Lusk snagged a beautiful pass from Wongler. Josh Tanner booted the extra point kick to give Triad a 7-6 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the half.
The Cyclones came fighting back however and started pushing the ball deep into Knight’s territory on their next drive. Triad’s defensive unit help them to a fourth down at one point, but the offense converted for a first down. The home side scored another 1 yard rushing touchdown and a successful point after try made the tally 13-7.
Although both teams had drives that looked to have potential, neither team could alter the score before half. Three of the final drives ended with punts and the fourth ended as time expired in the half.
The Knights offense returned the opening kickoff back to their own 32 yard line. However, the offense couldn’t take advantage and an errant punt set the Cyclones up at Triad’s 37 yard line. This would set up a 2 yard rushing touchdown and extra point that out the home team up 20-7.
Both teams were forced to punt on their next offensive drive, which allowed Triad to field a punt at their own 25 yard line. Sam Yager took advantage of this and ran an electrifying 75 yard punt return for touchdown to give Triad a much needed score. The extra point kick was failed so the visitors still trailed by a score of 20-13.
Triad’s defense got another huge turnover on their next play with a Nolen McGowen that put the offense at Sacred Heart-Griffen’s 35 yard line. Unfortunately for Triad, they threw an interception of their own on the very next play that was returned back to their own 46 yard line. A 15 yard rushing touchdown came shortly afterwards and the home team led 27-13 after converted the extra point.
Triad’s offense quickly moved out to the 50 yard line with a big run by Foreman. The Knights appeared to score on the following play with a 50 yard scamper by Foreman, but a called penalty negated the play. The third quarter came to a close afterwards and Triad was forced to punt.
The final quarter was mostly uneventful as four straight possessions ended with punts to put Triad at their own 32 yard line with 2 minutes remaining in the game. As the visitors attempted to rally, they fumbled the ball and their foes recovered. This allowed the Cyclones to run out the remaining time in the game to preserve their 27-13 lead.