Knights Find A Way
Not much was going right for the Buckingham County High School football team in its home non-district contest against Fluvanna on Friday night.
The Knights were on the ropes of a game they would eventually win 19-7. With under ten minutes remaining in the contest momentum took a crazy swing toward the home team.
Ahead 7-6 in a defensive struggle, Fluvanna drove deep into Buckingham (4-0) territory before being forced to settle for a field goal attempt with about eight minutes remaining.
Then, it all changed. Tariq Bartee and LA Briley rushed in from the end to block the attempt, and Jackson Bryant picked up the loose ball and ran the length of the field for the go-ahead score to put the Knights up 12-7.
From there, an inspired Buckingham defense put the game out of reach. On the third play of the ensuing possession, Michael Layman forced a fumble that was recovered by Maurice Taylor and ran back to the Fluvanna four-yard-line. Briley then put the game out of reach with a four-yard touchdown run on an end-around.
“It was a defensive heavyweight fight,” said BCHS head coach Craig Gill. “Fluvanna had two weeks to prepare for us, and they had lost their previous game. We didn't execute offensively like we have been doing for the last couple of weeks, but I think Fluvanna had a lot to do with that. They came ready to play.”
Buckingham broke open a scoreless tie late in the first quarter on a 31-yard touchdown run by Taylor, and held that lead until late in the second quarter when Fluvanna quarterback TJ Dudley broke open a 65-yard run that set up a short score for the Flucos to give the visitors the 7-6 lead at halftime.
The two teams traded possessions for most of the second half until Fluvanna (1-2) moved into scoring position to set up the game-changing blocked field goal.
“Our defensive unit played a good game all night, and kept us in it long enough for us to find a way to win,” said Gill. “I told the guys that good teams don't always get things to go their way, but they find a way to win, whether it's through the defense scoring points, or maybe even special teams.”
Taylor led a Buckingham offensive attack with 64 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Briley had 16 yards on two carries and the final touchdown, while quarterback Tarian Ayers was 9-16 passing for 84 yards.
Defensively, Taylor led the Knights with nine tackles and a tackle for a loss, while Layman had nine stops with a forced fumble, and Caderious Bowles had eight tackles and a forced fumble.
Layman, who shoulders the punting duties kicked four times, and got three of them to land inside the ten-yard-line.
“That was really big for us,” said Gill. “To bottle them up inside the ten three times really helped us out on defense.”
Buckingham will host Chatham on Friday night at 7 p.m.