PHILIPPI – Heading into the Philip Barbour contest Friday night, Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Duane Stoeckle said it was a must-win for his Buccaneers after an 0-2 start to the season.
His Buccaneers took that message to heart as they came out throwing the ball all over the field in the first half and built a 27-0 lead at the break before slowing down the all-out assault in the second half in a 33-14 victory.
“We told the team that they really needed to come out and not give Philip Barbour a chance,” remarked Stoeckle. “One of our keys to the game was not to give Philip Barbour a sniff that they could win the game because they had their backs to the wall as well. It was important that we could keep playing well and not let them back into the game.”
Senior quarterback Ryan Strader picked apart the Colt secondary for 224 yard and four touchdowns completing 12 of his 17 passes with no interceptions.
Strader has yet to throw an interception in the Bucs first three games.
“Strader made some nice passes for us tonight,” stated Stoeckle. “He made good decisions tonight and we expect that from him.”
Two receivers went over 100 yards for the Bucs.
Sterlin Thropp had 104 yards on four catches and two scores while Brayden Cutlip had an even 100 yards on six catches.
“Cutlip provides us with a huge target and Thropp is a track guy with some speed,” explained Stoeckle. “Our line provided Strader with time, our receivers ran good routes and Strader threw the ball well. Good things will happen when we do that.”
The Buccaneers scored on their first three possessions,wasting little time in jumping on the Colts scoring on their first possession of the game.
Starting at their own 31, Strader found Cutlip for a nine-yard hook-up and then Trenton Westfall was stopped for no gain but Strader called his own number and went for six yards and the first down.
On the next play, Strader connected with Cutlip again, this time for a 54-yard scoring strike.
Cameron Zuliani was good on her conversion kick as the Bucs took a 7-0 lead with just 1:49 ticked off the clock.
Strader stepped in front of an Ethan Floyd pass near the Buccaneer sideline and ran it back to the Colt 28-yard line on Philip Barbour’s first play from scrimmage.
On B-U’s first play, Strader connected with Thropp on a 28-yard touchdown reception.
Zuliani was again true on her kick as the Bucs led 14-0 just 2:11 into the game.
Philip Barbour fumbled the ball away on their first play with Brett Sears falling on the loose football for the Bucs at the Colt 32.
Three holding calls on the Bucs put them in a third and 44 situation, but Strader found a streaking Thropp down the B-U sideline for a 65-yard touchdown pass with 7:10 left in the first quarter.
The conversion kick went wide left, but the Bucs led by a 20-0 score.
A fumbled punt return by the Colts set up the Bucs for their only score of the second quarter.
Taking over after Thropp recovered the fumble, the Bucs went 59 yards in seven plays with the drive ending on a 19-yard pass over the middle of the field to Cutlip from Strader.
Zuliani’s kick was right down the middle as the Bucs owned a 27-0 lead with 7:05 left in the half.
The score remained 27-0 at the half.
Stoeckle took the foot off the pedal in the second half against the Colts substituting freely.
The Bucs made it a 33-0 game in the fourth quarter when Zachary Barcus carried it in for the score with 9:41 left in the game.
A bad snap negated the conversion kick.
Philip Barbour avoided the shutout with 6:32 left in the game when Floyd found Will Knight on a 40-yard catch and run.
The Colts added another touchdown with 11 seconds remaining on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Floyd to Logan Allen.
The Buccaneers racked up a total of 319 yards getting 224 through the air and 95 on the ground.
Strader was the top ground gainer for the Bucs with 44 yards on five carries.
The B-U defense limited the Colts to just 193 yards – 120 on the ground and 73 through the air.
Jesiah Matlick led the Colt offense with 102 yards on 17 carries.
Floyd completed five of his 11 passes for 73 yards and two scores, but he was intercepted three times.
One issue Stoeckle might find with his Bucs were the nine penalties they were flagged for 104 yards.
“I thought the officials did a good job, but we have to clean this up,” noted Stoeckle. “When you play better teams, we have to play well and can’t give other teams these kind of breaks.”
The Colts, now 0-3, will travel to Liberty this Friday.
The Bucs improved to 1-2 and will enter their bye week this Friday.
“It was huge to get this first win,” concluded Stoeckle. “They were excited to get off the field with the win. Now we need to get to 2-2 on the season. We really need this bye week. We have some guys banged up that we need to get healthy.”
Buckhannon-Upshur will return to action Friday, Sept. 27 when they visit Greenbrier East at 7:30 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur 20 7 0 6 – 33
Philip Barbour 0 0 0 14 – 14
Buckhannon-Upshur – Brayden Cutlip, 54-yard pass from Ryan Strader (Cameron Zuliani kick).
Buckhannon-Upshur – Sterlin Thropp, 28-yard pass from Strader (Zuliani kick).
Buckhannon-Upshur – Thropp, 65-yard pass from Strader (kick failed).
Buckhannon-Upshur – Cutlip, 19-yard pass from Strader (Zuliani kick).
Buckhannon-Upshur – Zachary Barcus, 3-yard run (bad snap on kick).
Philip Barbour – Will Knight, 40-yard pass from Ethan Floyd (Hunter Ware kick).
Philip Barbour – Logan Allen, 16-yard pass from Floyd (Ware kick).
First downs – Buckhannon-Upshur: 10 (5 rushing, 4 passing, 1 penalty); Philip Barbour: 9 (6 rushing, 2 passing, 1 penalty).
Rushing yards – Buckhannon-Upshur: 95; Philip Barbour: 120
Passing yards – Buckhannon-Upshur: 224; Philip Barbour: 73.
Total yards – Buckhannon-Upshur: 319; Philip Barbour: 193
Passes – Buckhannon-Upshur: 12-17-0; Philip Barbour: 5-11-3.
Punts – Buckhannon-Upshur: 3-21.0; Philip Barbour: 4-33.8.
Penalties – Buckhannon-Upshur: 9-104; Philip Barbour: 10-91.
Fumbles – Buckhannon-Upshur: 0; Philip Barbour: 5.
Fumbles lost – Buckhannon-Upshur: 0; Philip Barbour: 2.
All-return yards – Buckhannon-Upshur 72; Philip Barbour: 46.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Strader 5-44; Trenton Westfall 7-19; Sterlin Thropp 3-19; Zachary Barcus 6-11 (1 touchdown); Aaron Grubb 4-5; Camden Snyder 2-4, team 2-(-2); Elijah Bryant 1-(-5). Totals 30-95 (1 touchdown.
Philip Barbour – Jesiah Matlick 17-102; Will Knight 3-29; Ethan Floyd 3-15; Logan Allen 7-3; team 2-(-25). Totals 32-120.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Strader 12-for-17 for 224 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
Philip Barbour – Floyd 5-for-11 for 73 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Brayden Cutlip 6-100 (2 touchdowns); Thropp 4-104 (2 touchdowns); Cameron Dunn 1-13; Trenton Westfall 1-7. Totals 12-224 (4 touchdowns).
Philip Barbour – Knight 2-52 (1 touchdown); Allen 2-19 (1 touchdown); Matlick 1-2. Totals 5-73 (2 touchdowns).