Knights shut out visi­tors 50-0

Chavis steps up for 100-plus-yard game

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

CH­ESTER - In one play, Snug Wil­son showed his field aware­ness, his blis­ter­ing speed and his un­will­ing­ness to go down.

The 5-7, 142-pound re­ceiver and DB snatched up the punt, broke free of Franklin County de­fend­ers, swept from the right side of the field all the way to the left side, and then set sail.

As he neared the goal line, a Franklin County de­fen­sive back wrapped his arms around Wil­son for the tackle. Wil­son shook him off... ...and stayed on his feet

un­til he dove into the end zone.

Wil­son wasn’t the only player en­joy­ing a mon­ster night. The Knights’ rush­ing crew caught fire for a storm of big plays and the re­lent­less de­fense pun­ished vis­it­ing Franklin County as Thomas Dale Foot­ball took the first round of the play­offs on a 50-0 tri­umph.

“It was a great win for us as a team. We chal­lenged them the last cou­ple weeks to play good foot­ball of­fen­sively, de­fen­sively and spe­cial teams,” said Thomas Dale Foot­ball head coach Kevin Tucker. “De­fense is play­ing some top­notch foot­ball right now and the of­fense is start­ing to really click.”

Af­ter Thomas Dale raced out to an 8-0 lead within the first minute of the game, the two teams traded turnovers be­fore the Knights stopped the visi­tors on fourth down at Thomas Dale’s 5.

The Knights’ home­run rush­ing at­tack struck full force on the next drive. Eli­jah Burns bar­reled down the left side­line on a 42-yard dash to take the ball across mid­field. Then Chris Tyree on the next play ripped down the left side­line for 46 yards to pick up the Knights’ sec­ond touch­down of the night.

An in­ter­cep­tion by Brian Davis then set up the short field for Thomas Dale. A quick pass from Michael Bai­ley to Snug Wil­son helped give Thomas Dale a 22-0 ad­van­tage be­fore the end of the first quar­ter.

Then Wil­son slashed across the width of the field and raced down the left side, break­ing free of pres­sure to dive into the end zone for the punt re­turn TD.

The big plays kept com­ing.

AJ Chavis ex­ploded 90 yards down the right side­line and out­ran his com­pe­ti­tion to the house for the touch­down.

Chris Tyree, again, found a lane as he leaned to his left and trav­eled the re­main­ing open field for the 73-yard rush­ing TD.

And that’s how the Knights went into the locker room lead­ing 43-0, set­ting up the run­ning clock in the sec­ond half.

RB Chavis scored the first touch­down of the evening for the Knights and racked up over 100 yards rush­ing. As a backup, he picked up reps on the field ear­lier in the sea­son. He’s now step­ping up af­ter Thomas Dale’s Collin Holmes tore his ACL.

Although Franklin County con­trolled pos­ses­sion for much of the first quar­ter, Thomas Dale’s sti­fling de­fense paved the way for the Knights’ bar­rage of big plays in the first half.

“That de­fense man, it’s just fly­ing around to the foot­ball and mak­ing plays,” Tucker said. “Guys like Tre Smith and Zach Ja­cobs and Du­san St­jepanovic, they’re mak­ing it hard for peo­ple to run on us.”

Franklin County in­ter­cepted the Knights in the third quar­ter, but Thomas Dale forced the turnover on downs on their 38.

Isa­iah Minns in the sec­ond half helped move the chains un­til he punched in a rush­ing TD from 20 yards out near the top of the fourth quar­ter.

The #3 Knights (9-2) move on to play at #2 Manch­ester in the sec­ond round of the play­offs.

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