Knights Survive At Clarke

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BERRYVILLE – The Buckingham County High School football team got their lowest offensive production in over two years in last Friday's Region B, Division 2 Playoff contest at Clarke County last Friday night, but it was enough.

The Knights scored just once, but held the Clarke County Eagles off the scoreboard in a 7-0 victory to chalk up their first postseason win since the 2002 season.

Senior tailback Maurice Taylor scored on a two-yard run with 9:35 left in the second quarter to cap a 91-yard drive, and used its defense the rest of the way. The Knights forced Clarke to turn the ball over on downs four times, and dodged a bullet just before halftime on a missed field goal.

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“I'm proud of our defense,” said BCHS head coach Craig Gill, whose team has won 23 of its last 25 contests. “We're undersized, we're small, and we only dress out 27 players, but they bowed their backs and played with a lot of heart.”

Buckingham had to overcome two turnovers – a fumble and an early interception, but was able to maintain its focus defensively against Clarke's single-wing attack.

“They were big up front,” said BCHS defensive end Jackson Bryant. “We had to take their blockers, let our linebackers fill the holes and go from there.”

Patience, and containing Clarke on first and second downs was key.

“It was hard for us to duplicate their single-wing in practice,” said Gill. “They run something we hardly ever see.”

“We knew we had to keep them in third-and-long situations,” said Taylor, who plays linebacker on defense. “They were big and strong, but we had to stick to our game plan defensively.”

Taylor, who led the Knights offensively with 145 yards on 27 carries to go along with three catches for 40 yards, was able to put the game away with a 50-yard run with 1:16 remaining to move the Knights from their own 28 yard line to the Clarke 22.

From there, BCHS was able to kneel out the clock.

“We worked on a couple of plays during the week that we could use if we saw them being overly aggressive on defense,” said Taylor. “We saw that they were overplaying us, so we ran a misdirection play, and it turned out to be a big play.”

It was Taylor's only large run in a night that saw both teams live on mostly short gainers.

“We knew it was going to be a game like this,” said Gill. “It was going to be tough to get everything could get.”

BCHS quarterback Tarian Ayers was 7-17 passing for 94 yards. Defensively, Buckingham was led by Michael Layman, who had ten tackles and four assists. Tariq Bartee tallied 9.5 tackles, three assists and a sack, while Taylor recorded 8.5 tackles and five assists. Bryant had seven tackles, with two being for a loss, and Caderious Bowles had five stops.

Buckingham moves on to face Gretna this Friday night at 6 p.m. in Gretna. The Hawks defeated Buckingham 28-22 in overtime last year in the Region B Semifinals.