TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur football Buccaneers will wrap up their 2019 campaign tonight when they visit the Elkins Tigers in a Big 10 Conference battle at Wimer Field.
Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Both teams will use the game as a chance to go out winners after suffering through difficult campaigns this season.
The Bucs will enter the game with a 1-8 record while the Tigers are 2-7.
Both teams have road victories over Philip Barbour and the Tigers’ second win is over Roane County during a road contest back on Oct. 11.
Since their road win at Roane County, Elkins has lost three straight during a difficult stretch of their schedule against Bridgeport, Wheeling Park and Fairmont Senior.
During those three losses, they have been outscored by a 132-21 margin.
“It has been a tough year and winning against our rival Elkins would be a big boost to our program heading into our off season,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Duane Stoeckle.” Hopefully we can use a win as a spring board moving forward. It would also be a nice win for our seniors as this will be the last time they will be wearing the Blue and White on the grid iron.”
The Elkins offense goes through the legs of junior tailback T. J. Guire, a player that impresses Stoeckle.
“Guire has been impressive running the ball, both between the tackles and on the perimeter,” noted Stoeckle. “He runs very hard and he had some success last week against Fairmont Senior. They also have some fast backs in senior Dennard Wyche and Benjamin Boggs who run the jet play very well.”
The Tiger defense is led by Peyton Isner.
“Isner has good size (6'5, 220 pounds) and is very active along the defensive line,” remarked Stoeckle. “Their middle backer Snodgrass is pretty good from the linebacker spot.”
Stoeckle believes if his Bucs can put together four quarters of football, his Bucs have a chance at a victory.
“To get the win, we have to play a complete four-quarter game,” explained Stoeckle. “We showed some promise last week in the fourth quarter. We need the momentum we showed last week, to carry over. We have to stop the run, especially Guire, and establish our own running game. We will also have to protect the football in cold, wet conditions. We can't keep hurting ourselves with turnovers.”
Last week against the Knights, the Bucs had their first 100-yard rusher of the season as senior Trenton Westfall went for 109 yards on 17 carries and had a score.
Senior quarterback Ryan Strader hit six different receivers throwing for 106 yards.
It is expected to be a cold evening for both teams as temperatures are expected to drop into the low 20s on the grass surface at Wimer Field.
“When Buckhannon-Upshur and Elkins meet on the
field, it is always a great high school football game,” said Stoeckle. “It is a great rivalry played at a very historic field. It will be old school football with no turf. It will be cold, muddy and it could even snow. It should provide a great atmosphere for fans of high school football.”
Win or lose tonight, Stoeckle said he is proud of the way his team has battled this year through tons of adversity.
“I'm proud of the fact our team has not quit regardless of the score of the game or our record,” concluded Stoeckle. “They continue to compete each and every week. And I do commend them for their effort.”