Buckingham Falls to Brunswick, 27-0

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

FRANKLIN — Bruising defense and an efficient running game carried the Brunswick Bulldogs to a 27-0 victory over Buckingham County High School in Saturday’s VHSL Group 2A state semifinal football game.

“We had been written off when we were 2-2, but it shows a lot of character from the players and coaches to bear down and go on a run like they did,” commented Buckingham Athletics Director, Ed Dike.

Brunswick (12-2) stifled Buckingham running back Kenneth Johnson, allowing him just 39 yards on eight carries.

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The Bulldogs got all the offense they would need from Jakal Williams, who scored the only touchdown of the first half on a 3-yard run in the second period and added a 2-yard touchdown run in the third period.

Experience may have been a factor. Brunswick appeared to handle the pressure of a state semifinal more easily than did the Knights (10-4).

“Brunswick’s players are familiar with this type of stage,” said Buckingham assistant coach Matt Allen. The Knights, on the other hand, were playing in the semifinals for only the second time in school history.

Both offenses struggled to gain traction during a scoreless first period. Williams’ first touchdown sent the Bulldogs into intermission with a 7-0 lead.

Brunswick put the game out of Buckingham’s reach by scoring twice in the third quarter. The Bulldogs added a fourth touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Leon Ragland led the Knights with 15 carries for 62 yards. He completed four of six passes for 26 yards and was intercepted once.

The Knights defense was led by Johnson, with 16.5 tackles and a forced fumble. He also finished his high school football career with 89 rushing touchdowns and 4,920 yards rushing.

John Edwards and Malik Jones-Bolding contributed with nine tackles each for BCHS, with Jesse Hickman and Justin Ayres tackled eight times.

Buckingham’s playoff run was its longest in more than a decade. The Knights made it to the semifinal game by defeating James River, Dan River, and Gate City high schools.

“We are very proud of the body of work that these young men accomplished this season. You always want to see your team grow as the season goes and this group did just that,” added Dike.

He went on to say, “This (season) was a total team effort as when someone was having a sub-par game there was always somebody there to pick up the slack. We will miss the core of seniors that have been with the program. However, we have a great group of underclassmen coming back for next season.”

Allen commented on the seniors saying, “The senior class will be missed. They did so much for this program in terms of leadership. Peanut (Kenneth) Johnson, Demetrius Jones, Justin Ayres, John Edwards, and Tevin Harris were all you could ask for in captains and leaders, and they contributed right along with key seniors like Jesse Hickman and Malik Jones-Bowling. Those boys have a lot to be proud of, and this school and county have a lot to be proud of.”