PREP FOOTBALL: Second half boosts Chargers past Knights
TYLER – In a battle of undefeated teams it was the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers spoiling Russell-Tyler-Ruthton’s homecoming, with a 26-14 victory. With the win the Chargers improved to 3-0 and handed RTR’s their first loss of the season.
“This is a big win for our program,” WWG co-coach Carter Ross said. “We’ve been down the past five or six years. To be 3-0 and to beat RTR, that’s a big win for us.”
WWG opened the scoring on a Kyle Kuehl rushing touchdown. The touchdown came on the heels of a Kuehl interception that put an end to RTR’s opening drive.
The Knights wasted little time in responding. A few players later Cooper Hansen connected with Jake Fischer on a passing touchdown to tie the game at six with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
The Knights took the lead early in the second quarter when Cooper Hansen connected with Westin Kirk to put the Knights up 14-6. It was one of many big plays made by Kirk for the Knight.
“Westin did a great job both on lead blocking and on defense,” RTR coach Josh Fredrickson said. “He did a phenomenal job. He’s got really good instincts. He’s a very strong kid. He reads very well and did a really good job of filling the right gaps.”
With less than a minute left in the first half Kuehl crossed the goal line again to tie the game right at 14-14.
With 37 seconds gone by in the first half it was Kuehl finding his way to the end zone again to put the Chargers up 20-14.
WWG was knocking on the door to start the fourth quarter. The Chargers had the ball at the one-yard line on fourth down and the Knights came up with a big stop to keep the Chargers off the board.
“I think it shows what we can do when we are all on the right page,” Fredrickson said. “Then we have to take something like that and use it.”
With 1:30 left in the game it was Kuehl finding the end zone for the fourth time to put the Chargers up 26-14.
“A lot was made of our passing attack, but people forget that we have the third and fourth leading rushers in our conference,” Ross said. “We are not an air team, we are a balanced team. Our backs run well. Our kids played hard tonight and gutted out. Kyle gutted it out. He had a stinger in the fourth quarter. He got the game-winning touchdown. Our backs played well, but our line did a great job tonight.”
Ross said he was pleased with the way his team performed on the defensive side of the ball in the second half.
“We stopped the run,” Ross said. “The first half they had three big plays Defensively I think we controlled the front. We shut them out in the second half and took care of business.”
The Chargers will look to move to 4-0 on the year next week when they play Hills-Beaver Creek.
RTR will look to bounce back next week when they take on Mountain Lake Area.
“I think we learned that we can’t go lightly with anything,” Fredrickson said. “We have to play hard on every play. We need to keep it in high gear all the time.”