BRIDGEPORT — Second-year head coach Zach Davis and his Buckhannon-Upshur High School Buccaneers football team got their season started with a trip to face one of the state’s most highly touted squads in the preseason polls, the fourth-ranked area powerhouse Bridgeport Indians this past Friday, August 26. The Buccaneers fell behind early, after allowing the Indians scored three first quarter touchdowns. The second quarter was much of the same, as the Buccaneers had a hard time stopping the efficient Bridgeport rushing attack from eating up yards and marching down the field. The Indians would pour on three more touchdowns in the second quarter to enter the locker-room with a commanding 42 to 0 lead. The first half was tough, as the Buccaneers accumulated negative offensive yard outputs and couldn’t manage to move the sticks against a swarming Indian defensive front.
In the second half, the Indians came out and picked right back up where they left off, scoring two more touchdowns before the Buccaneers finally managed a response with just under four minutes to go in the third, as the Bucs moved the chains for the first time late in the third quarter on a nice pass from freshman Dawson Tenney to senior tight end Kaden Jordan. Once they reached the red zone on that drive, the Bucs couldn’t quite punch it in and capitalize with a score. However, the Bucs would build on the momentum generated on that drive to score later in the fourth quarter when explosive senior running back Savion Farmer finally found some space and made the Bridgeport defense pay, gashing them for a seventy yard house call to put the Buccaneers on the board for the first time this season. That was the extent of the fireworks for the Buccaneers on Friday night, as Bridgeport tacked on a late touchdown to seal the 63 to 7 win.
All around it was a tough day for the Buccaneers, however positives can be gleaned from the season opening loss on both sides of the ball. Offensively, while the offense wasn’t quite as potent, without experienced senior quarterback Ian Donnen under center, freshman Dawson Tenney saw the first varsity football action of his career and kept his composure, looking solid under center for the Buccaneers in his first career start. Tenney went 2 for 6 on his pass attempts, finishing with 12 yards passing. It seems as if the Buccaneers will have stable, solid quarterback play in coming years if Tenney continues to progress nicely. Although he was held in check most of the night, the Buccaneer faithful also got a glimpse at some of Farmer’s big play ability, as the senior running back accounted for just under 100 yard mark with 93 yards on eight carries. Defensively, the Buccaneers allowed nine touchdowns and over 500 yards of total offense, however played much more physical in the second half, only allowing three scores following the halftime break.
Coach Davis offered his thoughts about Friday night, saying, “I am always proud of our players. They never gave up even after that big first half from a very good team. I thought they finished the game well and played really good down the stretch. We were little off kilter in the beginning, fell behind early and couldn’t quite get back into the game. I think that our Dawson did really good for us in his first varsity action, it was a tough ask for a young signal caller to go out and make his first start against one of the top teams in the state like this, but he really answered the call and played well. We will get back to work this week in practice and fine tune some things as we prepare for next Friday.”
With the loss to Bridgeport, the Buccaneers start the 2022 season 0-1. Coach Davis and his team will enter their home opener against Ripley this Friday, September 2 looking to rebound in a big way.