Fast Start, Strong Finish Put Knights Into Second Round

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Buckingham County High School football team advanced to the second round of the Eastern Sectional, Group A, Division 1 Playoffs with a 42-12 victory over Stonewall Jackson last Friday in Buckingham.

The Knights jumped out to an early lead, held a two-point advantage at halftime, and pulled away in the second half with 22 fourth quarter points.

“The final score is no indicator of how most of the game went,” said Buckingham head coach Craig Gill. “We knew all along they were well-coached, and well-disciplined. They run out of a triple option and a power I set. We had to adjust, but once we adjusted to their scheme, I thought the defense played pretty well.”

Buckingham (9-2) jumped out on top with a touchdown not quite two minutes into the game. Tarian Ayers tossed an 18-yard pass to Cam Johnson to give BC a 6-0 lead.

Later in the first, Ayers capped a 95-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown run. Buckingham took a 14-0 advantage when Kenneth Johnson ran in a fake PAT.

Stonewall Jackson (5-6) cut into BC's lead early in the second quarter on a Jared Getz two-yard touchdown run up the middle. Buckingham's defense stiffened on the two-point try. The Generals scored once more on a Matthew Campbell two-yard touchdown run with 4:14 remaining in the half. Again, Buckingham's defense held on the two-point try, and the Knights held a 14-12 lead at the break.

Ayers capped a six-play drive in the third quarter on a 20-yard run to push Buckingham's lead to 20-12 with 7:26 to play in the period. Stonewall Jackson managed to keep the game close, but with 11:05 remaining LA Briley returned a line-drive punt 63 yards, untouched, for a touchdown. His two-point conversion gave BCHS a 28-12 advantage.

“I think that's what broke their backs,” said Gill. “After that, they looked deflated.”

Kyree Coonce added two insurance touchdowns late in the game – the first coming on a two-yard run with 4:14 remaining, and the second, a one play drive, coming on a 35-yard run with 2:21 left – to round out the scoring.

“We played pretty well in the second half,” said Gill. “I thought we played well in the first half, too. With few exceptions, the teams that get into the playoffs are good. There are not too many blowouts at this stage.”

Ayers led the Knights with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Koonce rushed nine times for 83 yards and two touchdowns, while Kenneth Johnson rushed nine times for 30 yards.

Ayers was 12-18 for 145 yards and the touchdown to Cam Johnson, who caught three passes for 45 yards. Landon Allen had four receptions for 46 yards, while Briley had three catches for 35 yards and Jesse Hickman caught two passes for 20 yards.

“I'm glad he was able to spread the ball around,” said Gill. “At this point, we need to make sure that we use all of our available weapons.”

They'll need them this Friday, as the Knights head to King William to face the No. 3 seed Cavaliers (11-0), which cruised past East Rockingham 48-12.

Kickoff is scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m.