There is an old proverb that says “Some times you get the bear and some times the bear gets you.” Last night At Ed Karpus Field, the Thomas Dale Knights (the bear) got rid of 11 years of regular season frustration by defeated the Lloyd C. Bird Skyhawks 36-6 on a rain drenched field before an extremely sparse crowd, not the one you would have expected for the annual Battle of Chester.
Dale won the toss and deferred. You got the impression that it was going to be one of those nights when Bird was hit with a block in the back penalty on the opening kickoff. This was the first of three such calls during the night. For most of the night, Dale’s defense held Bird running game in check, helped by penalties at the most inopportune time.
Dale dented the scoreboard with 8:23 left in the first quarter when Chris Tyree took a pass from quarterback John Pierce and scampered the 16 yards into the end zone.Garrett Graves made it 7 – 0 with his first successful extra point of the night.
On the ensuing possession, Bird started its’ drive on the 2 and on the first play, Gynai James slashed through the Bird line to tackle C. J. Donaldson in the end zone for a safety and Dale was up 9 – 0. Dale led 16 – 0 at the half after another Chris Tyree touchdown run.
Bird held Dale in check most of the third quarter, thanks in part to a fumble recovery by Ervin Pirtle on the Dale 40. Bird drove the ball to the Dale 3, mostly from the pounding running of C. J. Donaldson, but the drive stalled and Bird missed a field goal, which appeared to be partially blocked. Dale took over and fullback Elijah Burns cashed in his first of two touchdowns of the evening with 3:54 left in the third quarter. He added a second with 2:20 left to put Dale up 29 – 0.
Bird’s offense finally got on track in the fourth quarter with C. J. Donaldson doing the heavy lifting and getting the ball down inside the Dale 5 yard line. The Skyhawks avoided the shutout when Jeremiah Carter scored from 3 yards out to cut the deficit to 29 – 6. Bird went for 2 and failed on the attempt.
Not to be outdone, Dale took the kickoff and behind the running of Isaiah Minns, pushed the ball down the field with Minns scoring from 2 yards out with 1:16 left in the game to make the final score 36 – 6.
C. J. Donaldson was clearly the workhorse for the Skyhawks. Although he didn’t cross the goal line, he did rush for 158 yards on 36 carries.
Next week, Dale travels to Hermitage to take on the Panthers next Friday night while Bird gets its’ first home game of the season against the Midlothian Trojans.
TD Tyree from Pierce, 16 yard pass for touchdown, PAT – Graves 8:23
TD James for safety – 1:16
TD Tyree, 3 yard run, PAT – Graves 4:24
TD Burns , 33 yard run, PAT – Graves 3:54
TD Burns, 5 yard run, PAT blocked 2:20
LCB Carter, 3 yard run, 2-pt conversion failed
TD Minns, 2 yard run, PAT – Graves 1:16