Defense leads West to win

By By Ryan Satcher/staff writer
November 1, 2003
COLLINSVILLE After giving up a touchdown on the first possession of the game, the West Lauderdale Knights turned into monsters on defense in a 24-13 victory over the visiting Carthage Tigers.
Carthage picked up five first downs and a touchdown in its first possession, but the West Lauderdale defense forced five turnovers and didn't allow another first down until late in the third quarter to take the big Region 5-3A victory.
The win moves West Lauderdale to 8-2 for the year and also moved the Knights into a tie for the division title. Because of the tiebreaker, West finishes second in the division and will host Purvis in playoff action next week.
The Knights took advantage of a short field after the forcing turnovers to pick up the big victory.
The Tigers moved quickly down the field in their first possession to take a 7-0 lead.
Demar Gardner and Jerry Triplett carried the load for Carthage in the possession. Gardner broke a 23-yard run on a big third-and-12 play and Triplett picked up the touchdown with a three-yard run. The extra point by Joseph Atkinson made the score 7-0 with 6:36 left in the first quarter.
West Lauderdale was stopped on three plays and then made a mistake that could have been very costly. The snap to punter Michael Pogue went high and Pogue was forced to fall on the football at his own four-yard line.
On the next play, the Knight defense forced a fumble and Travaris Williams picked up the big turnover for West Lauderdale at the five.
West Lauderdale was unable to do anything on offense and was forced to punt to Carthage.
The Tigers took over on the West Lauderdale 27-yard line and moved to the 20 and broke a long run, but the Knight defense stripped the ball and fell on it at the two-yard line.
West Lauderdale put together a long drive to take back some momentum and give the defense some rest. The Knights moved the ball down to the Carthage 12-yard line on 16 plays to set up a 30-yard field goal by Pogue to make the score 7-3 with 5:50 left in the half.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave the Knights a short field to work with and shifted the momentum to West Lauderdale for the rest of the game.
The Knights took over at the 33-yard line and Scott Truesdale broke a 28-yard run on the first play to move to the ball to the five. Dameon Baylor carried the ball in from two yards out on the third play of the possession to make the score 10-7.
In the third quarter, the Knights pinned Carthage deep in its own territory on its first possession and caught a big break on the punt. West Lauderdale ran into the kicker, but seconds later the Tigers knocked down Christian Trussell on the fair catch.
After the offsetting penalties and another punt, West Lauderdale took over at the Carthage 28-yard line.
Five plays later Baylor powered in from three yards out to make the score 17-7 with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
Carthage fumbled the ensuing kickoff and West Lauderdale put some more points on the board minutes later on a 10-yard run by Josh Hanible to make the score 24-7.
The Tigers added a late touchdown as Shawn Tangle hit Henry Towner with a 19-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed and the Knights were able to run out the clock to take the 24-13 victory.