Knoch RB Tackett off and running again
Luau Night brought out hula skirts, beach balls and flower-patterned outfits at Knoch Knights Stadium.
It also brought out the best in running back Ben Tackett.
The senior scored four touchdowns for the second straight game to propel Class AAA No. 7 Knoch to a 40-7 nonconference victory over Trinity on Friday night.
Tackett, who rushed for 155 yards on 14 carries, also scored four touchdowns last week in a 28-14 win over Greensburg Salem.
“It's not all me. I am just blessed to be given the opportunity to have the ball in my hands,” said Tackett, who may have a future in college lacrosse. He stars for Knoch's club team. “This is a new chapter in Knoch football history. We're focused on the next play.”
Tackett has eight of Knoch's 10 scores this season. The other two came last night, by way of a 30-yard fumble recovery by senior defensive end Nathan Anuskiewicz and a 34-yard scoring strike from senior quarterback Dakota Bruggeman to senior running back Mike Cunningham.
“You know, Ben Tackett is one of the smallest guys on the field, but he is so dangerous,” Knoch coach Mike King said. “Sometimes he's even a little unorthodox when he runs. But he sees the game so well.”
Tackett, who scored on first-half touchdowns of 1, 25 and 15 yards, opened the second half with a 76-yard scoring run on the Knights' first play from scrimmage to push the lead to 33-0.
While the running game sizzled, Knoch (2-0) also gave its passing game a workout. Bruggeman completed 6 of 10 passes for 172 yards and the late third quarter touchdown to Cunningham that pushed the lead to 40-0 and started a running clock.
“We got off to a tremendous start, and that was a big key for us,” Cunningham said. “Our defensive line played great tonight.”
Said King: “I really liked the way our passing game looked. And we need that. We need to keep that balance. That has to play into our identity.”
Knoch recovered three fumbles and turned two into points.
Linebacker Luke Kroneberg scooped up a Trinity fumble at the Hillers' 5-yard line, and Tackett validated the turnover with a 1-yard score off a direct snap.
Nose guard Jonathan Whalen recovered another Hillers' fumble, but the Knights came away empty despite a 44-yard hookup from Bruggeman to Cunningham.
A 17-yard loss on a sack ended that chance, but Tackett struck again to make it 19-0 with 3:10 left in the half.
Trinity (1-1) did not complete a pass and finished with 157 yards rushing, 65 coming on a late touchdown by Patrick Frey.
The game was delayed about 40 minutes by lightning.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 firstname.lastname@example.org.