Knights blank Cosby 45-0

Tyree rushes for 187 yards, 2 TDs

The Progress-Index Weekend - - SPORTS DESK - By Ni­cholas Vandeloecht Staff Writer

CH­ESTER - For a team striv­ing to live by the grid­iron phi­los­o­phy of “Smash Mouth” foot­ball, Thomas Dale set the ap­pro­pri­ate tone Fri­day night...

by scor­ing their first sea­son points on a safety.

Then ath­letic Knights re­ceiver Gy­nai James re­turned Cosby’s af­ter­safety kick all the way to the Titans’ 33.

Then James went up and got the pass from quar­ter­back John Pierce and brought it down in the end zone.

Thomas Dale went on to thump Cosby 45-0.

Chris Tyree at run­ning back un­leashed two big scor­ing runs for 150 yards com­bined and to­taled 187 rush­ing yards and two touch­downs on seven car­ries for the Knights.

“He’s an ex­plo­sive player,” Thomas Dale Foot­ball head coach Kevin Tucker said of Tyree, al­though he noted they had to stress to the of­fen­sive line that they had to make plays up front and cre­ate holes for Tyree to run through.

“And on a cou­ple of our longer touch­down runs, that’s what the line did,” Tucker said.

Thomas Dale’s de­fense held Cosby to 34 pass­ing yards and 29 rush­ing yards. Of­fen­sively, the Knights rushed for 356 yards.

The de­fense is with­out their in­spi­ra­tion Devonte Chan­dler, who tore his ACL in the Knights’ first scrim­mage of the year. Tucker said Adam Hall filled in well for him and added that Tre Smith stepped up in a ma­jor way.

“Tre has trans­formed his he’s a 220pound line­backer. I don’t know what his stats were but he was all over the field tonight mak­ing plays,” Tucker said. “He took over that lead­er­ship role that Devonte had and he has be­come the new leader of our de­fense.”

De­spite the vic­tory, Tucker said his team com­mit­ted too many penal­ties. The Knights were on the wrong side of 17 flags for 155 yards.

“Un­ac­cept­able. We can’t have that,” Tucker said. “A lot of it we put our­selves in bad sit­u­a­tions.”

With less than six min­utes left in the open­ing quar­ter, Thomas Dale’s suf­fo­cat­ing de­fense locked down Cosby deep in­side their red zone. On a fourth and long sit­u­a­tion, the long snap flew over the Cosby punter’s head and into the end zone, se­cur­ing the safety for the Knights.

Two plays later af­ter James’ blis­ter­ing re­turn, the six-foot-two re­ceiver leapt into the air against one-onone cov­er­age and hauled in a 33-yard laser launched by Pierce.

Cosby in the sec­ond quar­ter me­thod­i­cally worked their way down the field from where they started near their own 45, but the Knights held them to a short field goal try that sailed wide right.

On the very next play, Tyree ful­filled Tucker’s state­ment that he’d be a home run threat any time he touched the ball. The sopho­more run­ning­back swept to the right, and then turned on the af­ter­burn­ers to sprint 80 yards to the house and help his Knights go up 16-0.

Zach Ja­cobs reached up and picked off Cosby near the Titans’ red zone, set­ting up a field goal try by the Knights that sailed left of the py­lon and was de­clared no good.

The Knights notched an­other pick, courtesy of Ke­lan Lewis, with about 30 sec­onds to play in the half.

And then Tyree set sail again, this time for 70 yards to help send the Knights into a 23-0 half­time lead.

Tyree had two touch­downs and 157 rush­ing yards in the first half alone.

In the sec­ond half, Emilio John­son ran in a six-yard touch­down on a sweep to the right, Isa­iah Minns scored on a 14-yard rush and Brian Davis made a tackle in the end zone for the Knights’ sec­ond safety of the evening. Adam Hall got on the board with less than a minute to play on a 22-yard run­ning TD.

Thomas Dale’s Bryce Carter reeled off an eight­yard sack late in the third.

Tucker praised the play of punter Gar­rett Graves.

“The kid was just kick­ing the ball deep on his kick-offs ... but his punt­ing tonight, he pinned them in­side the 10 yard line I think it was four times or three times,” Tucker said. “That’s just un­be­liev­able. You don’t get a weapon like that very of­ten ... Gar­rett, he’s a ju­nior, he’s got the abil­ity to one day be the man.”

Thomas Dale looks to go 2-0 next Fri­day when they host L.C. Bird in “The Bat­tle of Ch­ester” at 7 p.m.

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