By Watson Cook
A cross-state trip to West Point didn’t slow down the IA Colonels last Friday night. Facing a 2-0 Oak Hill team, the Colonels were impressive on both sides of the ball and were able to celebrate a 36-20 win on the long ride home.
The Colonels got going late in the first quarter following a Raider fumble. Tristan Tackett capped a 14-play, 83-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 0:24 to play in the quarter. Trey Roberson connected with Michael Sykes for the 2-point conversion to put IA up 8-0. The Raiders responded on their next drive, going 59 yards on 11 plays to score with 8:21 remaining before the half. However, they could not convert the 2-point try and the Colonels held on to an 8-6 lead. Less than two minutes later, Ashton Knight would find paydirt with a 25-yard sprint to the endzone, his first of three touchdowns on the night. The 2-point try was unsuccessful, giving IA a 14-6 lead. The Raiders threatened to answer again but their second fumble of the game gave the Colonels the ball at the IA 28 with just over three minutes to play in the half. The Colonels drove 72 yards on 6 plays, helped by a 3rdand 14 conversion, and Wheeler Timbs punched it in from 2 yards out (A. Knight 2-point run) to put the Colonels up 22-6 with 0:48 to go in the quarter. Oak Hill managed to drive to midfield but Dalton Sykes put an end to the Raider threat with 2 sacks, including one for an 8-yard loss on the last play of the quarter.
The Raiders pulled closer on their first possession of the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion to trim the Colonel lead to 22-14. That’s when things started to get interesting. The following 3 Colonel drives resulted in a punt, fumble and turnover on downs from the Raider 11 yard line. Oak Hill answered those drives with a turnover on downs, interception (Tristan Knight), and fumble which IA recovered at the Raider 16. That set up A. Knight’s second touchdown run of the game, this one from 2 yards out. Roberson added the 2-point run to put the Colonels up 30-14 with 6:25 to play in the game. The Raiders immediately went into a hurry-up offense that they were clearly not comfortable running. It resulted in another turnover on downs, giving IA the ball at the Raider 46. Five plays later, A. Knight added his third touchdown run, a 17-yard scamper to give the Colonels some extra breathing room, 36-14 (2-point try failed). The Raiders were able to get on the board one last time with 0:35 remaining to close the final margin to 36-20.
The win improves the Colonels to 2-1 on the year. Next up is the #5 team in AAA (The Clarion Ledger), the Washington School Generals, who will come to Legion Field with a 3-0 record. Kickoff is set for 7:00 Friday, September 7..