Blue Devils vault over Trojans in region clash
Williston-Elko High survived a scare from Ridge Spring-Monetta High Friday night in the Devils’ Den.
Behind a stout defensive performance and good special teams play, the Blue Devils were able to overcome inconsistencies on offense for a 21-7 win.
With the win, Williston-Elko moves to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in region play.
Williston-Elko High coach Derek Youngblood said the team was fortunate to come out on top.
“Right now, we’re pretty lucky to be 3-2,” Youngblood said. “Ridge Spring-Monetta presented a lot of problems for us because they’re a lot similar to our team in the things they do. Overall, though, I have to give our guys a lot of credit for fighting through some early adversity to get the victory.”
The loss drops Ridge Spring -Monetta to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in region play.
“I’m very proud of our kids. They fought very hard tonight,” Ridge Spring-Monetta coach Kenneth Lipsey said. “It was a very tough game. We made some plays early, but in the end they made the plays when the game was on the line.”
The game finally wrapped up around 11:30 p.m. after a 90-minute delay due to the threat of lightning at the original kickoff time.
The long delay, however, didn’t have any effect on the play of a Blue Devil defense that continues to pave the way for victories this season.
A Blue Devils defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown in the last eight quarters turned in another good performance.
A unit fueled by Evander Tyler, Keshawn Toney, Da’quan Cuthbertson, Demarkiis Doe, Kendall Myers, Meddikis Priester, Tres Rimes, Jasper Lott and Kendal Brown held a pass-happy Trojans’ offense off the scoreboard for the first time this season.
The Blue Devils stopped the Trojans on two fourth down conversions and three trips inside their 15-yard line.
Evander Tyler’s interception midway in the first quarter ended one Trojan scoring threat. Late in the quarter, Da’quan Cuthbertson, Kendall Myers and Jasper Lott combined to stop a runner for no gain on fourth down to end another drive.
“I can’t say enough good things about the play of our defense. The unit was outstanding again tonight. We gave up a few long pass plays, but we kept them out of the end zone and that’s what counts the most,” Youngblood said.
It was Ridge-Spring Monetta that got off to a fast start in the Region IV class matchup.
Tyler Dean of the Trojans fielded a short punt by the Blue Devils. Dean then broke several tackles before sprinting down the left sideline on a 50-yard return. The Trojans added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
After a three-and-out possession by the Blue Devils, the Trojans got their hands on the ball again.
This time, though, it was the Blue Devils’ defense which came up with a splash play.
On the possession, the Trojans were faced with a fourth down and one at their 28 yard-line. Instead of playing it safe and putting the ball away, the Trojans decided to go for the first down.
The gamble backfired on them. Keyshawn Toney of the Blue Devils slipped a block on the play and tackled quarterback Tyson Bettis for a two-yard loss.
The swing of momentum gave life to the Blue Devils’ offense. Tyran Parker got the team going with a 12-yard run on first down. One play later, Jarius Tobin found the end zone on a nifty 13-yard run. Demarkiis Doe ran for the two-point conversion for a 8-7 lead.
From there, the teams struggled to put points on the scoreboard despite advancing the ball deep in the opponents’ territory.
After two straight scoreless quarters, the Blue Devils got back on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter thanks to superb special teams play.
Another good defensive stand by the Blue Devils forced a punt by the Trojans. On the kick attempt, Jasper Lott penetrated and blocked the punt. Kendell Brown then picked up the loose ball and scored for a 14-7 lead.
The Blue Devils would then put the game out of reach on their next possession. Jarius Tobin capped a six-play, 53-yard drive with a 12-yard run.
The Blue Devils finished the night with 143 yards of total offense, which was given a considerable bump in the final scoring drive.
“For some reason we continue to struggle on offense. You would think five games into the season we would have it figured out by now. It’s just been little mistakes and missed assignments that have been stopping our drives,” Youngblood said.
For the game, Kendall Myers led the team with eight tackles. Keshawn Toney had seven tackles, including three for losses. Jasper Lott finished with seven tackles. Da’quan Cuthbertson tallied seven stops, including two for losses.
Players with six tackles include Meddikis Priester, Demarkiis Doe, Evander Tyler and Tres Rimes.