Knights Move To 2-0
After battling severe cramping issues in its first week victory over Appomattox, the Buckingham County High School football team put an emphasis on conditioning prior to its home-opener.
Conditioning drills took on a greater role in practice leading up to last Friday's game, and it paid off in a Buckingham 27-13 win over the Governors, who were playing their season-opener.
“We had to cut practice short a little to concentrate on our conditioning,” said BCHS head coach Craig Gill. “Everyone knew it was an issue, and they stepped up, did their extra running and hydrated properly. It feels good to get a win, but it feels even better to win and not have to suffer through cramping.”
Not to say that it wasn't a hard-hitting, physical contest.
“We were still giving out a lot of ice packs afterward, but it was such a physical game. A good game that could've gone either way, with a break here or there.”
Much like it did in its season-opening game against Appomattox, Buckingham wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. Tarian Ayers hit wide-receiver LA Briley for a 70-yard touchdown pass about a minute into the game.
It looked like the Knights were about to take a commanding lead, but a fumble on Nelson's five-yard line ended another drive, and the Governors cashed in on the good fortune on its next possession with a 70-yard touchdown of its own to close the gap to 7-6.
Buckingham senior tailback Maurice Taylor put the Knights in front by capping a long drive with a touchdown in the second quarter to give BCHS a 13-6 lead.
Just before halftime, Ayers found Briley again for a 42-yard touchdown to give the Knights a 20-6 lead at the intermission.
Nelson scored its second touchdown in the fourth quarter on a pass to fullback Quincy Murphy, but Buckingham put the game away with about two minutes remaining on a 28-yard touchdown by Taylor.
“The young men were ready to play, and we played well all night for the most part. We got a couple of breaks that helped us, but they did too. It really could've gone either way.
“I was proud of how we were able to run the ball when we needed to run. Given our numbers, to win games, we're going to have to do that to shorten the game, but I was pleased with how balanced our offense was.”
Ayers was 9-17 passing for 201 yards and the two touchdown tosses to Briley, who had scoring catches of 70 and 42 yards. Taylor rushed 30 times for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Defensively, Buckingham was led by Michael Layman, who had 11 tackles and two assists. Two tackles went for a loss, in addition to one sack and a fumble recovery. Caderous Bowles had nine tackles with a tackle for a loss, while Jackson Bryant had six tackles, one for a loss and a sack. Laysean Hearnes had four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, and Caleb White had a drive-ending interception in the second quarter.
“The defense played well, and stopped Nelson when it needed to. I was really happy with the attitude of the young men. We cut back on practice to run, and there was no complaining. They knew what they needed to do in order to win, and they did everything they could to make sure we didn't have a repeat of the first week.”
Buckingham will travel to Prince Edward on Friday at 7:30 p.m.