Knights blank Cosby 45-0
Tyree rushes for 187 yards, 2 TDs
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 body...now 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.