Knights blown out in Appomattox County

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The result of Friday night’s season-opening battle on the gridiron between Buckingham County High School and Appomattox County High School was in marked contrast to their meeting last year.

In place of a tense contest featuring a narrow differential on the scoreboard was a blowout victory in favor of the defending Virginia High School League Group 2A state champions.

The host Raiders walked away with a 57-6 victory over the shorthanded Knights.

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“I saw what I kind of expected,” Buckingham Head Coach Joshua Wallace said. “We didn’t practice very good all week, and no one comes in here wanting to lose. We want to go into a game trying to compete. I hope it was an eye-opener for us.”

All of the scoring in the game took place in the first half, with the second half passing quickly due to a running clock.

“We’ve been telling the guys, ‘Hey, you’re not going to be able to compete practicing like this,’ especially with the numbers we had, and they went even lower because we had some people get hurt tonight,” Wallace said.

The Knights entered the game with fewer than 20 eligible players, and about halfway through the first quarter, they lost senior team captain Jarvis Bowles, who suffered a concussion.

Appomattox led 23-6 after the first quarter. It jumped out to a 16-0 lead off of a 9-yard touchdown run, a safety and a 75-yard kickoff return.

“Special teams killed us,” Wallace said. “We weren’t very good in all phases of the game, and we’ve got to get better there.”

The Raiders scored on all but one of their offensive possessions in the half.

It was later in the first quarter when Buckingham stopped Appomattox on 4th down and four yards to go, forcing a turnover on downs.

On the heels of that defensive stand, the Knights scored their only points of the game. Junior Daniel Brickhill crossed the goal line from one yard out, a play which was set up by a 66-yard run from senior Rajheem Holman. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good.

The Raiders went on to score 41 unanswered points.

In addition to injuries, Wallace said some discipline issues arose during the game on his team. He pointed to a fork in the road where the Knights are at.

“Really, we have two options: we can have a long season and a lot of games like this and we can move backwards,” he said, “or we can have a great season and we can move forward and learn from it and get better from it, and that’s what I’m hoping happens.”

Wallace expressed confidence in his players heading into the Knights’ home opener Friday against Chatham High School.

“We have potential,” he said. “But the guys are going to have to really get tough because (of) our numbers, and they’re going to get into a little bit more game shape.”