By Don Chipman
The Beardstown Tigers knew going in that they would have to take care of the football, and not make costly mistakes or penalties; they were unable to do either one. Last Friday, in a road tilt, they lost 36-0 to an excellent Knoxville football team.
The O&B put the ball on the ground four times and lost all four fumbles, three of which turned into touchdowns for the hosts. Penalties again proved costly setting up another TD for the Blue Bullets.
Knoxville, which came off the ball extremely well, were able to control the line of scrimmage as they rushed for a total of 176 yards, and threw for 42 more, giving them total yardage of 218 yards against the hometowners’ 144.
“We came out and took care of business against a team that came in at 4-1,” stated head coach, Ryan Hebard.
The game started with an ominous beginning when on the fifth play, QB Grant Larson connected with speedy Knoxville back Colton Palmer who had gotten behind the BHS secondary, and raced in untouched on a 40-yard scoring pass.
The Tigers went from the frying pan into the fire when they committed the first of four miscues on the following set of downs with Knoxville recovering at the O&B 38-yard line.
Eight plays following the fumble, Christian Maxwell scored the first of his three TD’s on a 1-yard plunge. This gave the Blue Bullets a 14-0 lead at 2:51 of the opening period.
On the next series, QB Gus Vermillion hooked up with Alex Schultz for a 17-yard connection, and Alex Myles ripped off an 11-yard gain to the Blue Bullets 41. However this drive stalled when the locals were hit with a 15-yard personal foul penalty.
The hosts then used a time-consuming drive that went 63 yards using 11 plays with Larson going in on a QB rollout on a nice ball fake, and cake-walked in for the TD. The kick was good and Knoxville led 21-0 with 4:41 left until halftime.
BHS took the second half kickoff and moved the ball into Knoxville territory, thanks to a 16-yard reel off by Myles. Here again the Tigers were their own worst enemy committing two penalties that stalled another scoring drive.
On the following possession, Knoxville made it 28-0 using a seven-play drive that went 67 yards with Maxwell scoring on a seven-yard burst at 4:06 of the third period running the count to 28-zip.
The mistakes kept coming as the locals again gave up the football on yet another fumble at the Tigers’ 34-yard line. Nine-plays later Maxwell scored his third TD on a 12-yarder, hurdling one would-be Tiger tackler at the six-yard line. The two point PAT on a Larson run ran the final verdict to 36-0 with 10:50 left in the contest.
The Tigers’ final possession was highlighted by two nice runs by Cole Huey and Myles, but again two penalties thwarted this drive. Paul Crowe recovered a Knoxville fumble at the Blue Bullet’s 43 midway through the final frame, but four pass incompletions turned the ball back to the hosts who ran out the game clock for the 36-0 shutout.
K-Palmer 40 pass from Larson (kick good) 7-0 @10:03
K-Maxwell 1 run (kick good) 14-0 @2:51
K-Larson 1 run (kick good) 21-0 @ 4:41
K-Maxwell 7 run (kick good) 28-0 @3:06
K-Maxwell 12 run (Larson run) 36-0 @ 10:50
First Downs 11 6
Rushes-Yards 47-176 24-89
Passing Yards 40 55
Total Yardage 216 144
Passing Sum. 1-3-0 5-12-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 4-4
Penalties-Yards 4-25 7-60
Rushing Yards: Knoxville-Hale 14-62, Palmer 8-19, Larson 10-46, Maxwell 7-31, Thompson 8-18
Totals: 47-176; BHS-Alex Myles10-49, D’ante McWilliams 4-14, Gus Vermillion 3-14, Huey 7-13. Totals 24-89
Passing: Knoxville-Larson 1-3-42; BHS-Gus Vermillion 5-12-0-55
Receiving: Knoxville-Palmer 1-40; BHS-McWilliams 3-32, Alex Schultz 2-23. Totals 5-55.
Record: Knoxville 5-1 (conference 3-1; BHS 4-2 (conference 2-2)