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Tyler Stuns Donahue

Caldwell wins his Silver Knights finale, 40-26

November 3, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MIDDLEBOURNE - Tyler Consolidated won't be one of the 16 teams invited to the West Virginia Class A postseason party.

But you'd never know it by watching the Silver Knights on Friday night.

Alex Doak scored four touchdowns - two receiving, one rushing and one on the second-half kickoff - as Tyler Consolidated ended its season with a 40-26 triumph against Bishop Donahue at Tyler Consolidated High School.

Article Photos

Tyler Consolidated’s Alex Doak runs in for a touchdown against the Bishops.

''I'm just so glad for our seniors,'' Silver Knights coach Rob Caldwell said in a raucous locker room. ''We got the win for them.''

Doak and quarterback Hunter LeMasters - two of Caldwell's seniors - worked their magic one last time. Doak caught six passes for 146 yards. LeMasters finished 13 of 28 for 230 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

''Those two have been carrying us lately,'' Caldwell said. ''Hunter and Alex are two good competitors and when they get out there on Friday nights they like to shine.''

While Tyler Consolidated (4-6) finished its season with two straight victories, the Bishops (6-4) ended the regular season with back-to-back losses.

Bishop Donahue entered Friday tied for 15th with Moorefield in the Class A ratings. Now, Coach John Durdines and his players will have to crunch the numbers today to see if they'll make it.

''I don't know how that will work out,'' Durdines said.

The Bishops turned the ball over five times (four fumbles), one week after committing eight miscues in a 10-point loss against Wheeling Central.

While Durdines was pleased with the effort, he was disappointed with the execution.

''They never gave up and that's what they've always done,'' he said.

''But turnovers and penalties have been our Achilles heel all season long. We knew coming in with Saquan (Hill) not able to play (ankle), we had to find different ways to do things.''

Durdines said he warned his team earlier this week Tyler Consolidated wasn't your typical 3-6 club.

''And they came out and made plays,'' Durdines said. ''I give Coach Caldwell and his team all of the credit. For some reason they wanted it more than we did.

''We need to be able to respond. We need to have better emotion and that's my fault.''

Bishop jumped ahead early when Lavonte Hampton returned a punt 36 yards for a score.

But the Silver Knights scored 13 unanswered to take a 13-6 advantage. Levi Henderson hauled in a 20-yard pass from LeMasters midway through the first. Then, with less than a minute left in the quarter, Doak scored the first of his TDs on an 18-yard scamper.

Doak went on two score twice in the second quarter as Tyler Consolidated built a 26-12 halftime lead. The final TD came on a 7-yard toss from LeMasters with 20.6 ticks left in the half.

It didn't take long for Doak to score again. He took the second-half kickoff and raced 78 yards to paydirt to increase the lead to 33-12.

From there, Caldwell's defense took over.

''We told them all week we had to hit them hard and, by golly, they listened and did that,'' Caldwell said. ''I thought our defense played really well. They've played really well for a few weeks.''

The victory was somewhat bittersweet for Caldwell, who's stepping down after nine seasons.

Caldwell, who succeeded John Stender on the Silver Knights sideline, led the program to one playoff berth (2008) and four 5-5 campaigns.

Longtime assistant Terry Snively - the former coach at River - is also leaving.

Caldwell cited recurring back problems - he had surgery following the 2011 season - and his two daughters as reasons for stepping away.

His resignation has been accepted by the Wetzel County Board of Education.

''The players were the first to know,'' Caldwell said. ''I told them before I turned any paperwork in.

''I told the guys I'll still be teaching here and if they ever need anything to let me know.''

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