TENNERTON – Despite a very small sample size, it was a dominant 2020 football campaign for Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School head coach Dave Chipps and his Little Bucs.
The Little Bucs ended the year with a 3-0 record, getting to decide only two of their three contests on the football field.
The Little Bucs ‘opened’ their season with a forfeit win over Mountaineer (Clarksburg) Middle when they refused to play the game over COVID-19 concerns.
The Little Bucs then rattled off two straight wins over South Harrison and Robert L. Bland before the season was shut down because of the state’s pandemic color-coded map.
The Little Bucs posted shutouts in both wins, defeating South Harrison by a 34-0 score and downing Robert L. Bland by a 28-0 count.
For Chipps, his 39th year in coaching was unlike he had ever experienced before.
“This was my 39th year and I can honestly say I’ve never had a season like it,” stated Chipps. “Just when you think you have seen it all, 2020 came along and was just all screwed up. Sadly, we had a good group of kids to work with but only played two games. The most disappointing part was for the players. They were one of the most motivated teams we have ever had here at B-UMS. They worked as if they were ready to play every week and never complained. That is rare these days. They took it in stride. I think they missed being at school and enjoyed each others’ company. Just happy to be at practice. I think this made them closer as a team.”
The Little Bucs were dominant in those two games as they outgained their two opponents by a whopping 545-82 margin with most of that coming on the ground.
To say that the Little Bucs ground game was efficient would be an understatement as they averaged 7.1 yards per carry racking up 507 yards on 71 carries. All nine of their touchdowns came on the ground.
Wyatt Morris led the ground game with 180 yards on 21 carries while also going over the 100-yard mark was Caiden Bleigh with 142 yards on 12 attempts.
Three other backs went over 50 yards as Ethan McCarty gained 65 yards on 14 totes, Brody Jeran collected 54 yards on 10 carries and Daniel Hedrick gained 53 yards on eight tries.
McCarty, who quarterbacked the team this season, completed two of his four passes for 38 yards.
Morris caught one pass for 24 yards and Chase Hackett caught the other for 14 yards.
McCarty also led the team in scoring with two rushing touchdowns and four two-point conversion runs for 20 points.
Daniel Hedrick led the team defensively with 11 tackles while Daren Daugherty paced the team in tackles for loss with 6 ½.
“This was a very smart group of young men,” concluded Chipps. “They were able to do things that most middle school teams could not. Sadly, we won’t know for sure, but I think this team had what it took to win the Mid-8 Conference championship this year. We would have loved to have played Bridgeport in the regular season and maybe again in the championship game. Sadly, we will never know.”
The final 2020 statistics:
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Opponents 0 0 0 0 – 0
Buckhannon-Upshur 28 20 14 0 – 62
First Downs – Buckhannon-Upshur: 29 (26 rushing, 1 passing, 2 penalty); Opponents: 7 (4 rushing, 1 passing, 2 penalty).
Rushing yards – Buckhannon-Upshur: 71-507; Opponents: 48-62.
Passing yards – Buckhannon-Upshur: 38; Opponents: 20.
Total yards – Buckhannon-Upshur: 545; Opponents: 82.
Passes – Buckhannon-Upshur: 2-4-0; Opponents: 2-10-1.
Penalties – Buckhannon-Upshur: 9-80; Opponents: 5-35.
Punts – Buckhannon-Upshur: 0-0.0; Opponents: 2-26.5.
Fumbles – Buckhannon-Upshur: 3; Opponents: 5.
Fumbles lost – Buckhannon-Upshur: 2; Opponents: 1.
Wyatt Morris 21-180; Caiden Bleigh 12-142; Ethan McCarty 14-65; Brody Jeran 10-54; Daniel Hedrick 8-53; Cooper Antolini 2-11; Kadyn Baisden 1-4; Dawson Tenney 1-0; team 2-(-2). Totals — 71-507.
Opponents – 48-62.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ethan McCarty 2-4 for 38 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
Opponents Totals – 2-for-10 for 20 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Wyatt Morris 1-24; Chase Hackett 1-14. Totals 2-38.
Opponents Totals – 2-20.
Ethan McCarty – 2 touchdowns, 4 two-point conversions = 20 points
Wyatt Morris – 3 touchdowns = 18 points
Caiden Bleigh – 3 touchdowns = 18 points
Cooper Antolini – 1 touchdown = 6 points
Buckhannon-Upshur totals – 9 touchdowns, 4 two-point conversions = 62 points
Opponent totals – 0 touchdowns, 0 two-point conversions = 0 points
Daniel Hedrick 11; Daren Daugherty 6 ½; Cooper Antolini 6; Chase Hackett 5 ½; Wyatt Morris 5; Ethan McCarty 4 ½; Caiden Bleigh 4; Cooper Lantz 3; Dawson Tenney 2 ½; Bear Metheny 2; Aiden Phillips 1 ½; Levi Posey 1 ½; Garrett Cutright 1; Kadyn Baisden ½; Evan McDowell ½; Jacob Snider ½.
Tackles for Loss
Daren Daugherty 6 ½; Wyatt Morris 4; Chase Hackett 2 ½; Garrett Cutright 1; Cooper Lantz 1; Aiden Phillips 1; Daniel Hedrick 1; Cooper Antolini ½; Levi Posey ½.
Cooper Antolini 1.
Buckhannon-Upshur forfeit win over Mountaineer (Clarksburg)
Buckhannon-Upshur 34, South Harrison 0
Buckhannon-Upshur 28, Robert L. Bland 0