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Knights Move to 2-0 With Home Opener Victory

ALAH senior quarterback Jayce Parsons heads to the end zone for his second of five touchdowns in the game with the Villa Grove Blue Devils last Friday night. His td gave the Knights back the lead for good at 13-8 after trailing 8-7 in the second quarter. The Knights would tack on 4 more scores to win the game 43-35. Jayce had 231 yards on 17 carries.

Staff Writer

The Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond Knights opened their 2023 home season by taking on the Villa Grove Blue Devils on Friday, September 1. A very large crowd came early for the Knight Fest activities and then were thoroughly entertained by an exciting football game.

In a wild offensive night by both teams that saw 78 total points on the scoreboard, a huge defensive play by the Knights late in the game preserved the victory. A new tradition was begun following the win with the raising of the Knights “W” flag. Here’s hoping that the flag goes up often this season!

Jayce Parsons was the offensive standout for the Knights in the game, scoring five running touchdowns and rushing for 2 two-point conversions. Jayce’s tds runs were 6 yards, 39 yards, 5 yards, after a 64 yard run on that scoring drive, 40 yards and finally a 17 yard run. Maddix Stirrett had ALAH’s other score on a 16 yard run. Kaden Herschberger was 3 for 3 on extra-point kicks.

The home team needed every point they could get as Villa Grove’s Brady Clodfelder had three touchdowns, a 1 yard run, and 2 touchdown receptions of 27 and 66 yards. He also contributed an extra point run. The Devils’ Hunter Butts had a 24 yard rushing td and caught an extra point pass. Braden Dowler returned an interception 56 yards for their fourth score. VG’s last touchdown was a 66 yard pass from quarterback Layne Rund to Hunter Butts who also caught the extra point pass that brought the visitors within 8 at 43-35 with 4:51 remaining in the game.

The Blue Devils got the ball back for what would be their last series with 2:46 left. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty set them back to a third down with 24 yards to go to keep their possession alive. But that’s when the Knights defense made a huge play, junior defensive lineman shot through the VG offensive line and sacked the Blue Devil QB while also forcing a fumble which senior lineman Jeffrey Arwine recovered giving the ball back to the home team with 2:03 to go to victory.

The Knights picked up a crucial first down when running back Landon Waldrop picked up 10 yards on a second and 11 play and quarterback Jayce Parsons gained 2 yards on third and 1. ALAH ran a favorite victory formation play to finish the game and secure the hard fought win.

The Knights head to Oakland next Friday, September 8 to face the Tri-County Titans.

ALAH has a 2-0 season and Lincoln Prairie Conference record as every game on the schedule this season is a conference game with the addition of Nokomis and Sullivan Okaw Valley to the LPC.

Week 2 vs Villa Grove

Rushing – Jayce Parsons 17 for 231 & 5 TDs; Landon Waldrop, 12 for 61;Maddix Stirrett, 10 for 32 & 1 TD; Easton Frederick, 4 for 26; Alex Rexroad, 1 for 7; Connor Nettles, 1 for 6

Passing – Jayce Parsons, 0 for 7, 1 interception


Tackles – Maddix Stirrett, 15; Jeffrey Arwine, 9; Colin Smith, 7; Landon Waldrop, 7; Jacob Tighe, 7; Easton Frederick, 3; Cruz Hale, 3; Mit Appleby, 2; Nate Hale, 2; Garrett Casteel, 2; Brennon Hutson, 2; Payton Warrior, 1; Connor Nettles, 1; Chris Kuhns, 1; Jayce Parsons, 1; Nathan Tighe, 1; Mackenley Bowles, 1

Tackles for Loss – Nathan Tighe, 1; Jeffrey Arwine, 1

Sacks – Jacob Tighe, 2; Jeffrey Arwine, 2; Landon Waldrop, 1; Colin Smith, 1

Interceptions – Cruz Hale, 1

Pass Break-Ups – Cruz Hale, 2; Easton Frederick, 2; Maddix Stirrett, 1; Connor Nettles, 1; Jayce Parsons, 1

Forced Fumbles – Jacob Tighe, 1

Fumble Recoveries – Easton Frederick, 1; Jeffrey Arwine, 1

Punt Blocks – Colin Smith, 1


Kick-Offs – Garrett Casteel, 4 for 188; Kaden Herschberger, 3 for 76

Kick-Off Returns – Landon Waldrop, 2 for 101; Payton Warrior, 2 for 19; Cruz Hale, 1 for 7; Maddix Stirrett, 1 for 4

Punts – Connor Nettles, 1 for 51; Landon Waldrop, 2 for 49

PATs – Kaden Herschberger, 3 for 3 (100%)

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