Great Start for Knights Football!! On Friday, September 8, Connor Nettles, a senior on the Knights football team got the game against the Tri-County Titans off to a fantastic start!! Connor returned the opening Titan kickoff past their entire special teams squad. His 74 yard return for a touchdown game ALAH a 6-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game.
By SALLY McCARTHY
The Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond Knights football team traveled to Oakland on Friday, September 8 to take on the Tri-County Titans and picked up a 36-16 win to move to 3-0 on the season.
The game started great for the Knights as senior Connor Nettles returned the opening kickoff 74 yards for a touchdown. The extra point run was no good and the visitors led 6-0 with just 12 seconds gone in the game.
ALAH would score on three of their five possessions in the first half. Senior running back Landon Waldrop would pick up two touchdowns, the first on a 46 yard run with 1:33 left in the first quarter and the second on a 10 yard run with 3:48 remaining in the half. On both scores, quarterback Jayce Parsons connected with receiver Nettles on the two point conversions giving the Knights a 22-0 lead.
The Knights would tack on one more touchdown in the first half on an impressive 75 yard run from scrimmage by QB Parsons. He ran in the two point try and with just 31 seconds left in the first half the red, black, and gold were ahead 30-0.
The home team could not put together any kind of sustained drive in the first half, turning the ball over on downs twice, punting on three other series and running out of time at the end of the half. However, they got the ball first in the second half and put together a long scoring drive that was capped off with a 6 yard touchdown run by Titan sophomore running Clay Kibler. He also ran in the extra point play to put the home team on the board but trailing the Knights 30-8 with just 3:37 left in the third quarter.
ALAH’s first series of the second half ended with a punt but the game was already one minute into the fourth quarter. A huge tackle for loss by the Knights Easton Frederick on a fourth down Titan play gave the ball back to the offense and they would quickly add another TD. On the second play of the series, Connor Nettles would get his second touchdown of the game on a 40 yard pass reception from QB Parsons. The EP pass was no good and with 7:01 remaining in the game the Knights led 36-8.
The teams traded fumbles, with ALAH linebacker Trey Strode recovering the Titan fumble but then the Knights fumble was more costly as it was near the Titans’ goal line. Myles Watson, a junior running back would take it 8 yards for the score and with Kibler’s run for two points the home team trailed 36-16 with 3:26 to go.
Knights freshman Marcus Otto recovered the Titan onside kick attempt. The scoring was finished and the Knights brought home a 36-16 victory. ALAH remains undefeated at 3-0 on the season but there are still a lot of areas to be worked on for continued improvement.
ALAH returns home next Friday, September 15 to take on the Sangamon Valley Storm who defeated the Cerro Gordo Bement Broncos last week and come into the game at 2-1. Kickoff at Wilson Field will be at 7:00 p.m. The Knights have had great fan support for their first three games, on the road and at home, so come on out and join the fun of cheering on the home team!!!!
Coach Jefferson had this to say after the game, “After our victory last night, we are officially 3-0 for the first time since 2006! Next week we will look to go 4-0 for the first time since 2004. We really appreciate all the support and hope to have a big crowd at home next week!”
Coach Jefferson also shared this message from Jerry Jenks, one of the game officials at the game last Friday. “Thank you Coach Jefferson! You have a great group of kids there. They played hard, smart and their sportsmanship throughout the game was the best I have seen in a few years. Truly a solid representation of their coaching. Good luck with the remainder of your season and maybe we’ll cross paths again in the post season.” A great compliment to our players and coaches!!!
Here are our stats from our Week 3 Victory over the Tri-County Titans.
Rushing – Landon Waldrop, 9 for 75 & 2 TDs; Jayce Parsons, 10 for 69 & 1 TD; Alex Rexroad, 4 for 39; Maddix Stirrett, 4 for 24; Easton Frederick, 1 for -4
Passing – Jayce Parsons, 3 of 4 for 69 & 1 TD
Receiving – Connor Nettles, 3 for 69 & 1 TD
Tackles – Maddix Stirrett, 18; Jeffrey Arwine, 17; Mit Appleby, 9; Nathan Tighe, 8; Brayden Leech, 8; Easton Frederick, 8; Jacob Tighe, 6; Payton Warrior, 6; Landon Waldrop, 5; Connor Nettles, 4; Jayce Parsons, 4; Chris Kuhns, 3; Trey Strode, 3; Colin Smith, 2; Cruz Hale, 2; Kamden Morfey, 2; Garrett Casteel, 1; Marcus Otto, 1; Brennon Hutson, 1; August Burton, 1; Colton Taylor, 1
Tackles for Loss – Jeffrey Arwine, 2; Jacob Tighe, 2; Brayden Leech, 2; Easton Frederick, 2; Maddix Stirrett, 1; Landon Waldrop, 1
Sacks – Jeffrey Arwine, 1; Easton Frederick, 1
Pass Break-Ups – Landon Waldrop, 1; Easton Frederick, 1
Fumble Recoveries – Trey Strode, 1
SPECIAL TEAMS STATS
Kick-Offs – Garrett Casteel, 3 for 146 & a Touchback, Kaden Herschberger, 3 for 82
Punts – Landon Waldrop, 2 for 62
Kick-Off Returns – Connor Nettles, 1 for 75 & 1 TD; Marcus Otto, 1 for 0 (onside recovery)