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Tyler holds off Bridgeport, 8-7

by Randall Jett

CORRESPONDENT

KIDWELL -- Tyler Consolidated withstood several second-half Bridgeport scoring attempts to hold on for an 8-7 victory.

Two lightning delays slowed the game more than an hour.

The Indians (0-1) started the game moving the ball, but the first delay at the 6:23 mark of the second quarter seemed to swing momentum to the Knights (1-0).

"It's not real good on the whole mental aspect," Bridgeport coach Bruce Carey said. "We were on the field, off the field and then we spent the whole halftime with the kids wondering if we were going to play or come back (Saturday) instead of worrying about who we were blocking.

"Even colleges would be thrown by that."

Tyler Consolidated coach John Stender felt the delay may have aided his team.

"We changed our blocking schemes during the delay and we planned on throwing the ball a little more but the weather kind of hampered that," Stender said. "But Wright ran hard for us. It was a good, physical game. There were 14 guys within a half yard of each other all night beating the crap out of each other."

After a Kash Kiefer punt pinned Tyler deep at its own 18, the Knights went on a nine-play, 82-yard drive for the first score. Michael Wells caught a 24-yard pass from Scott Maston to cap the drive with :33 seconds remaining in the first half. Maston then hit Nick Estep for the 2-point conversion.

The drive was aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the Indians.

"We started blocking somebody," Tyler Consolidated coach John Stender said. "I don't know who said Bridgeport was having a down year but they need to go back and look at them. They're a very tough, physical football team and they're going to win some football games."

On the ensuing kickoff Jamin McCue went 80 yards for a score in :13 seconds. Kiefer's point-after kick cut the lead to 8-7 at halftime.

The second half was a field position battle. Bridgeport started three drives in Tyler territory, but couldn't convert. The Indians drove to the Knights' 11 but botched the 29-yard field goal attempt on an errant snap back to the holder.

"We never moved the ball real well but we did have a couple chances to score," Carey said. "I'm proud of the way we played defense, though. Tyler's a good team and their defense stood up for this game, too.

"Our defense played well, but our offense just couldn't put anything together tonight at all."

The Indians' final scoring opportunity began on their own 15 with :36 to play, but quarterback B.R. Hathaway was sacked by the Knights' Craig Sandy to end the game.

Shawn Adkins led all rushers with 82 yards on 22 carries, while Matt Wright led Tyler Consolidated with 65 yards on 22 carries.