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Big Runs Help Knights To Remain Undefeated

Playing its first game without the services of injured quarterback/defensive back Cam Johnson, the Buckingham County High School football team didn't look like the well-oiled machine it did before his injury, but the Knights didn't show many signs of rust, either, in a 48-0 victory over Randolph-Henry last Friday.

Reserve quarterback John Edwards turned in a solid effort for his first varsity start. There were timing mistakes, but for the most part, BCHS head coach Craig Gill was pleased with his quarterback's performance.

“He had a good game,” said Gill. “There were some timing errors on exchanges that we will have to iron out, but other than that, I thought he did well. Those mistakes aren't much different than the ones you may see in August, only it's October, so those things will get better with time and practice.”

Buckingham only needed three plays to jump out to a lead. Tailback Kyree Koonce raced around the left side untouched for a 56-yard touchdown run that capped a 65 yard drive that took only one minute off the first quarter clock.

With 1:56 left, Koonce's backfield-mate Kenneth Johnson scored on a 33-yard touchdown run around the right side.

The two alternated scores in the second quarter. Koonce scored on a 15-yard touchdown run with 4:27 left in the half, and Johnson put the Knights ahead 27-0 on a 40-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left before the break.

The BCHS defense flexed its muscle in the second half. Leon Ragland intercepted a pass that was tipped by teammate Justin Ayers and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown with 5:34 left in the third quarter. Sixty-three seconds later, Wade Lee recovered a fumble and ran 34 yards for a score to put BC ahead 41-0.

Buckingham reserve Michael Mabry closed out the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Johnson rushed seven times for 167 yards and two touchdowns on the night to lead BCHS. Koonce caried the ball eight times for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Edwards was 6-7 passing for 57 yards. Jesse Hickman made three catches for 38 yards.

Tariq Bartee led the Knights with 13.5 tackles and two forced fumbles. Kevin Smith had nine stops, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble, while Stephon Anderson had 7.5 tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

Wade Lee had seven tackles, a tackle for loss and three fumble recoveries, including the one he returned for a touchdown. Kenneth Johnson had six stops with two tackles for loss.

“A lot of young men played well on defense,” said Gill. “I can't say enough about our defense. Everyone talks about our offense, but our pride and joy is our defense. They fly to the football.

“And from what I've seen on tape, they had better this Friday.”

Buckingham travels to Central of Lunenburg, which is hoping to get back into the race for the JRD title, after having lost to Goochland three weeks ago.

“They'll spread you out and all of the sudden go into a double-wing, and they won't make many personnel changes when they do. It's like preparing for two different teams.

“They went to the semifinals last year and have most of that team back. They have regained their swagger, and we're going to have to be ready for a tough game.”