Knights On The Playoff Road Again

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, November 18, 2010

Buckingham has compiled a 19-1 record over its last two regular-season campaigns. Despite that, the Knights have been forced to hit the road for the first round of the Region B, Division 2 Playoffs two years in a row.

Right or wrong, one truth remains, they're going to have their work cut out for them as they try to navigate their way through the toughest of the eight Group A brackets.

Clarke County (9-1) defeated Madison County last week to edge Buckingham in the VHSL ratings points by 0.2 points. Amelia's two forfeits, due to playing an ineligible player early in the season, as well as a Buckingham loss to the Raiders, didn't help matters any, but now the Knights must hit the road to face a team that can frustrate its opponent.

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“They run out of the old single-wing formation, and use a lot of misdirection,” said BCHS head coach Craig Gill. “They're big and fast, well disciplined and they don't make mistakes.”

In last week's game against Madison County, the Eagles proved that despite their ground-oriented attack, they could make up ground, despite falling behind early.

Clarke trailed Madison 20-7 late in the first half, but rallied to claim a 28-20 victory on a three-touchdown performance by tailback Grant Shaw and a 60-yard touchdown run by Ron Anderson.

“Shaw is a hard-nosed and tough runner, while Anderson is as fast as anyone we've got.”

The Eagles also forced four turnovers in the game (three interceptions and a fumble), as they shut down their in-district rivals in the second half to force a three-way tie atop the Bull Run District standings.

Buckingham shook off the loss to Amelia two weeks ago and held on for a 24-20 victory over a Central of Lunenburg team that was fighting for the James River District title and a playoff berth.

Buckingham needed to overcome an injury to junior quarterback Tarian Ayers, who has been nursing a bad ankle all season. His ability to run out of the spread was hampered, but he came back to help move the Knights down the field when the Chargers keyed on senior tailback Maurice Taylor.

Taylor led the Knights with 205 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.

“Maurice ran with more heart than I've ever seen from him,” said Gill, who acknowledged the high praise, given Taylor's impressive track record. “When Tarian got banged up, it limited us a little in what we wanted to do, but our offensive line picked it up and allowed Maurice and Camre [Johnson] to do their jobs.”

Taylor will need to have another complete game. That shouldn't be an issue. So far, the senior tailback has 1,812 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns on 226 carries (181.2 yards per game, 8.0 yards per carry).

The teams have two common opponents in Cumberland and Manassas Park. Clark defeated Cumberland 42-0 on October 1, before dropping a 21-14 decision at Manassas Park on October 29. Buckingham defeated Manassas Park 20-17 on October 1, and defeated Cumberland 35-0 on October 15. Clarke County is averaging 32.45 points per game, while giving up 8.81 ppg. Buckingham is averaging 26.27 ppg., and is giving up 11.54 ppg.

The power ratings points separated the two teams by 0.2 points after ten games. While the score can't be that close, don't expect a blowout by either side. This one could very well go to overtime.

Note: The Farmvile Herald's Sports facebook page will provide regular updates of the Clarke/Buckingham game.