TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Little Bucs football team got off to a fast start in the first half against Washington Irving Middle School Thursday evening, building a 32-0 lead that was fueled by a 24-point second quarter. They kept their foot on the gas in the second half, resulting in a dominant 46-20 win.
Head Coach Dave Chipps had the Little Bucs ready to play Thursday night in what could be his last game of a decades-long coaching career. The Little Bucs amassed 300 rushing yards and added 82 yards on the ground, all the while playing suffocating defense.
The Little Bucs wasted no time, scoring on their first three drives of the game, building a comfortable lead that they didn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. The first score of the night was on a 19-yard rush by Kellan Wolverton. They followed that up with a 12-yard rush by Dawson Tenney, and a then a touchdown pass from Tenney to Levi Posey. The Little Bucs defense was a force in the first half, shutting out W.I., 32-0.
After halftime, B-UMS went into their ball control offense, leaning heavily on their running game. After finally letting W.I. to get on the scoreboard by allowing a big play with 1:16 left in the third, the Little Bucs responded with a TD of their own on their final drive of the 3rd quarter, when Tenney found the end zone on a 63-yard run.
In the 4th quarter, with the game in hand, the Little Bucs rotated in some of their bench depth, allowing them to gain valuable in-game experience for next year. W.I. scored two touchdowns in the 4th, but they proved to be too little, too late. The Little Bucs capped off their big win with a 53-yard kick return TD by Darren Small on the final play of the game.
QB Dawson Tenney led the offense, going 3 for 4 on his pass attempts for 82 yards and two TDs, while adding 100-yards rushing on nine carries, and punching in another two TDs on the ground. RB Forest Catlin chipped in 71 yards on nine carries and also found the end zone once. Cooper Antolini did a little of everything on the night, rushing five times for 58 yards and catching a pass for a 62-yard TD. Levi Posey proved to be a reliable target around the end zone, catching two passes for 20 yards and a TD, all the while catching passes to convert a pair of two-point conversions.
After the game, Coach Chipps took a moment to reflect on his coaching career, saying, “Being probably my last game, after 41 years, it’s the perfect ending. We dominated a good football team, beginning to end. The boys played well tonight. They have come a long way since the start of the season.”
If this is to be the last game for Coach Chipps, he has earned the storybook ending that his team secured for him with a farewell victory. He has also earned a well-deserved thank you for 41 years of shaping young men’s lives through coaching athletics.
With their victory over W.I., the Little Bucs football team finishes the season 4-3, securing a winning record for the season and sending Coach Chipps out as a winner.
Buckhannon-Upshur 8 24 8 6
W.I. 0 0 7 13
Buckhannon-Upshur – Forest Catlin, 19-yard run (2-point conversion good)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Dawson Tenney, 12-yard run (2-point conversion good)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Dawson Tenney to Cooper Antolini, 62-yard pass (2-point conversion good)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Dawson Tenney to Levi Posey, 11-yard pass (2-point conversion good)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Dawson Tenney, 63-yard run (2-point conversion good)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Darren Small, 53-yard kick return (no XP attempt)
First Downs – 9 (8 rushing, 1 penalty)
Rushing Yards – 41-300
Passing Yards – 82
Total Yards – 382
Passes – 3-4-2
Penalties – 3-25
Punts – 0-0-0
All Return Yards – 1-52-1
Cooper Antolini 5-58; Dawson Tenney 9-100 (2 TDs); Aiden Phillips 12-46; Forest Catlin 6-71 (TD); Trevor Winneberger 6-23; Nicoli Wolfe 1-1; Branson Tripplett 2-3
Dawson Tenney 3 of 4 for 82 yards (2 TDs)
Branson Triplett 1-62 (TD)
Levi Posey 2-20 (TD)