For folks in the Twin Springs and Rye Cove communities another Scott County Super Bowl is in the books. In what was a back and forth contest in the first half, the mighty Titans defense pitched a shutout in the second half to claim a 34-24 victory over the county rivals. After jumping out to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter, Twin Springs found themselves trailing at halftime 24-22. Twin Springs senior tailbacks Corbin Kilgore and Preston Larkins each tallied second half touchdowns to put the nail in the coffin for the Big Red Army.
Coming in to the season, Twin Springs was coming off of a 2-8 season in 2017 followed by a 1-9 campaign last season. This season the Titans finished 6-4 and just missed making the playoffs. Rye Cove finishes the year with their second consecutive 4-6 season.
“I am beyond proud of this group of kids.” Said Titan head coach Keith Warner. “After we went 1-9 last year they could have given up on me and our program but they chose to stick with it. They became more disciplined and became outstanding young men and that carried over to the football field and proved that we have to do the little things right to win football games but now we have to have a great off season, get in the weight room and work harder than ever, that’s where it starts.”
Rye Cove struck first with 8:20 in the opening quarter on a 3 yard touchdown run from Mason Hardin. It took Twin Springs less than three minutes to answer as Corbin Kilgore punched it in to the end zone from 2 yards out to tie the game at 8 all. The Titans quickly added to the lead on a 4 yard touchdown plunge from Preston Larkins to make the score 16-8 after the first quarter. In the second quarter Rye Cove would reclaim the lead on back to back touchdown runs from Mason Hardin from 30 and 12 yards out to make the score 24-16 with 5:44 remaining in the first half. Twin Springs would answer with 1:50 showing on the clock as Mason Elliott and Connor Gilmer connected on an 18 yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion run was stuffed by the Eagle defense and Rye Cove took a 24-22 lead in to the locker room at the half.
After what looked to be a stalemate in the third quarter, Kilgore busted loose for a 24 yard touchdown run with a little over 2 minutes showing on the clock to give Twin Springs a 28-24 lead that they would carry in to the fourth quarter and not relinquish. After Rye Cove was not able to get anything going at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth, Twin Springs put the finishing touches on the contest as Larkins added his second touchdown run of the game. This time from 11 yards out with 7:50 remaining in the game to put the Titans up 34-24 and clinch their 21st victory over Rye Cove.
Twin Springs out gained the Rye Cove offense by a 288-256 margin. Twin Springs was able to overcome three turnovers in the contest and also able to overcome the time of possession that was won by the Eagles. Rye Cove was led by Mason Hardin as he ran the ball 40 times for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hardin finished the night 2 of 7 through the air for 40 yards and an interception. Tyler Darnell and Andrew Jessee tallied receptions for Rye Cove. Senior Matthew Hardin led the Eagles in tackles with 12 while Ashton Starnes tallied 10 tackles for the Eagles.
Twin Springs was led in rushing by senior Preston Larkins who finished with 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 carries. Larkins, who spent time at quarterback the previous two seasons, also led the Titan defense with 15 tackles. “Preston has been our best blocking tight end this season but we went to a load set the last couple weeks and decided to put him back there and he just took off and really stepped up. He has played so many positions for this football team over his four years here and he’s played them all really well, I’m so proud of the way he came along this year.” Noted Warner.
Senior tailback Corbin Kilgore also had a strong outing in his last game wearing a Titan football uniform. Kilgore rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries and tallied 2 touchdowns while adding 11 tackles and a sack on defense. Quarterback Mason Elliott finished 2 of 4 through the air for 43 yards and a touchdown. Connor Gilmer was the recipient on each of those passes and added 14 tackles on defense. Senior Christian Hinkle finished his strong season in the secondary with an interception off of Hardin.
The Titans are losing 8 players to graduation with 7 of them being starters. Twin Springs has quarterback Mason Elliott returning next season along with fullback Connor Gilmer, Coach Warner will also be gifted some upcoming freshman next season that capped off an undefeated season for the 8th grade team.