TENNERTON — Head Coach Zach Davis’ Buckhannon-Upshur High School Buccaneers football team (2-4, 1-2 in Big 10 Conference play) entered his past Friday, October 14 game against the Oak Hill Red Devils looking to snap a three-game losing streak and put on a show for all the alumni making their way home for the annual Homecoming festivities. Coach Davis was among those that welcomed special guests to Buckhannon-Upshur’s Homecoming contest against the Red Devils, as his father, former Major League Baseball player Storm Davis and friend, two-time Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon on hand in Tennerton to take in the raucous atmosphere of Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.
Oak Hill opened the game on offense, putting together a physical drive which ate up almost half of the first quarter. The Oak Hill offense eventually stalled out on the Buckhannon 27-yard line, however the trip to the red zone wasn’t fruitless, as a field goal put the Red Devils up 3 to 0 midway through the first quarter.
Not to be outdone, the Buccaneers responded with a long, methodical scoring drive of their own, covering 76 yards in 11 plays. Always looking to set the tone with their physicality, with the Buccaneers’ rushing attack effectively moved the sticks early in the drive, Coach Davis seized a perfect opportunity to catch the Red Devils’ defense off guard with the strong arm of young signal caller Dawson Tenney. Tenney found Bryson Johnston for a 28-yard pass, for the most explosive play of the drive. In the red zone, Buccaneers took care of the business, with Tenney opting to punch it in himself on the ground from one yard out. Kicker Wyatt Mason’s extra point attempt was good, giving the Buccaneers a 7 to 3 lead with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
In spite of the early near flawless drive from Tenney and company, the Buccaneers were unable to recapture that magic for the remainder of the game, with their ground game being held in check by a speedy Red Devil defensive unit. The Red Devils recaptured the lead with nine minutes left in the second quarter, this time finding the end zone after a long drive, punching it in on the goal line for a touchdown. The following extra point attempt gave the Red Devils a 10 to 7 lead. From there, the Red Devils never let up, holding the Buccaneers in check to disappoint the packed Homecoming crowd in Tennerton, beating the Buccaneers, 27 to 7.
Offensively, the Buccaneers finished the game with just 200 yards of total, with a good chuck of that production coming on the team’s first drive. The Buccaneers’ backfield grinded out 170 hard-fought yards on the ground, with Savion Farmer leading the way, barely missing out on the century mark, with 91 yards on 19 rushes, with Tenney rushing for 22 yards on five carries, scoring the team’s only touchdown in the process. Through the air, Tenney’s completion on the first drive accounted for a majority of his yardage, however the Buccaneers young quarterback showed solid decision making, not forcing anything despite his team playing from behind for a majority of the game, completing 3 of 6 passes for 30 yards.
Defensively, the Buccaneers struggled match the speed of the Red Devils’ backfield once they hit the second level of the defense, as Oak Hill’s ground game accounted for all of their offensive production in the win over Buckhannon.
With the loss the Buccaneers drop their fourth straight game, falling to 2-5 after a promising 2-1 start to the 2022 campaign. Coach Davis and his staff will go back to the drawing board in practice this week, looking to get their team back to their winning ways. The Buccaneers will look to get back on track be back in action next Friday as they welcome the Grafton Bearcats to Tennerton, kickoff is schedule for 7 p.m. at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.