ST. MARYS - Tyler Consolidated coach Ryan Walton is going to have to wait at least another week before he can finally secure his first coaching victory.
Thursday night at Imlay Field, host St. Marys received four touchdowns from David Gray as the second-rated Class A Blue Devils rolled to a 35-6 victory.
Gray, who basically had been out for the last two games, returned with a vengeance and put the Blue Devils (4-0) ahead for good at 8:11 of the first when he bulled in from the 1. St. Marys, which doesn't return to action until Friday, Oct. 4 when Williamstown comes to town, actually led 8-0 after it faked the extra point and Michael Stout found Noah Spitzer wide open in the end zone.
The Blue Devils scored on the first play of their second possession when Colby Brode hauled in a deep post for a 56-yard touchdown reception from Stout. Garrett Furr's kick was true and the Silver Knights, who entertain Calhoun County next Friday night for Homecoming, trailed 15-0.
Two drives later, the visitors finally got things going when quarterback Jordan Baker returned a Stout punt 40 yards to the Blue Devils 28. Tyler Consolidated got new life on fourth down when wideout Chase Cooper was interfered with in the end zone. Three plays later, Jacob Highley scored from the 3 with 8:04 left before intermission, but the extra point was no good.
The backbreaker for the Silver Knights came on the ensuing St. Marys drive when Gray hauled in a quick-hitter seam pass. As he galloped inside the TCHS 30, a defender corralled him and tried to strip the ball, but to no avail. Gray then shredded another would-be tackler at the 25 and raced into the end zone as the visitors found themselves trailing 21-6 at halftime.
St. Marys, which got 85 yards rushing from Gray on a dozen totes as well as the two receptions that covered 128 yards, held a 209-97 total yards advantage at intermission. The Silver Knights, who lost Highley to injury in the fourth quarter, were held to one first down and negative-7 yards after the break.
Tyler Consolidated (0-4) survived a potential touchdown drive by the Blue Devils when Gray fumbled the ball in the red zone and Kyle Frum pounced on it. Even though the visitors couldn't get the ball out of their own end and actually made a goal-line stand, St. Marys eventually broke through again as Gray dove in from the 3 with 6:54 left in the affair to make it 28-6.
Highley, who rushed 22 times for 74 yards and also made eight total tackles (six solo), left the game with a leg injury at the 5:55 mark.
Gray put an exclamation point on his return when he caught another seam pass and raced 58 yards to paydirt as the clock showed 3:30 remaining.
Stout hit on half of his eight passes and finished with 199 yards through the air. He also was the Blue Devils' second-leading rusher with four carries for 44 yards.
Silver Knight Swen Scheidmantel had all three of Tyler Consolidated's receptions, which covered 22 yards.