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Football Lookahead: Something Has to Give Between Rivals Magnolia, Tyler Consolidated

September 12, 2013
By DAVE MORRISON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Somebody is going to win when old Wetzel County rivals Tyler Consolidated and Magnolia meet Friday night.

This much is certain.

"It's a rival game, the kids are 15 miles apart so they know each other and they want to compete," Tyler Consolidated coach Ryan Walton said. "It should be a good game. We're looking forward to playing them."

As well as a rivalry, the game has taken on added meaning.

Neither team wants to open the season 0-3.

Both teams will ultilize the run, and lots of it.

"The game may be over in a little over an hour," Walton joked.

He may be close.

Tyler Consolidated's Jacob Highley is coming off a 153-yard effort in the Silver Knights' loss to Doddridge County last week.

Magnolia can expect a huge dose of the 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior.

"We're looking to control the ball, and try to utilize Jacob as much as we can," Walton said. "He's a big, strong kid who worked hard in the offseason. He can carry the load and we've used him quite a bit the first two weeks of the season. He had (18) carries last week and 24 the week before. He is a big factor in our offense."

Magnolia too has a potent run game, led by all-state running back Drew Keller, who had 190 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown in a heart-breaking, 15-14, last-second loss to Williamstown last week.

Kage Rohde, an all-state linebacker, had 14 tackles for the Blue Eagles and also added 26 yards on five carries offensively.

"They have two awfully food running backs in Keller and Rohde, and their quarterback (Jacob Brill) is also a threat to run the football," Walton said. "When they get in that run-pass option he is a dangerous weapon."

Last week Brill completed 3 of 9 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown to Eric Smith, who caught two passes for 79 yards. Smith was a big factor in the passing game in the opening game, too.

Magnolia can be bouyed by the fact also that it's season-opening 14-7 loss to Linsly came against a team that last week went on the road and knocked off Parkersburg South.

Tyler enters the game coming off a 26-12 loss to Doddridge County.

Where score comparisons matter, and that typically means very little, both teams have lost at Williamstown already. Both teams scored 14 points, the Silver Knights falling 27-14 in the season opener and Magnolia dropping that 15-14 decision last week.

"Magnolia can hurt you with the run or the pass, and we need to be in a position where we are controlling the clock," Walton said. "We need to have them hurrying a little and trying to get something done rather than us being in the position where we have to hurry and make things happen. We need to play our strength."

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