TENNERTON – Savion Farmer ran for 196 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries to help lead the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers to a 31-14 victory over Lewis County Friday night at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.
Farmer broke away for a 57-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to put the game away for the Bucs but it was a 40-yard run in the third quarter that turned the momentum back in favor of the Bucs.
Lewis County scored on the first possession of the third quarter, tying the game at 14-14. That put the swing of things back into their favor until Farmer went right and then cut the ball back over the middle of the field to the Lewis County 27-yard line.
The Bucs scored five plays later, taking a 21-14 advantage and it was a lead they would never relinquish.
“I just saw a hole open on the left side so I cut it back and hit it,” stated Farmer about his 40-yard jaunt that switched the momentum back to the Bucs.
Farmer was quick to point out the play of his offensive line for helping him to get his 196 yards on the ground.
“The entire game they were working hard,” noted Farmer. “I just wanted to repay them back and do my part running the ball.”
The Bucs brought the “Battle for the Pick” trophy home after the two teams didn’t play the Route 33 rivalry game last year because of COVID-19 protocols.
It was also the first taste of the rivalry for Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis, who saw his team improve to 2-4 on the season.
“This was a team effort tonight,” stated Davis. “Offense, defense and special teams all contributed.”
Davis said going into the game that one of the keys for the Bucs to get the win tonight was to run the ball, and they certainly did that, amassing 317 yards on the ground.
“Farmer led the ground game again,” noted Davis. “He is a gritty back. He is a team-guy first, he wants to do this for his teammates. And the offensive line really got after it allowing us to rush for over 300 yards.”
The Bucs took the opening kick-off and marched 66 yards in eight plays for the first score of the game as quarterback Ian Donnen bulled his way in from two yards out with 7:10 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Cameron Zuliani was good on her extra-point kick as the Bucs went up 7-0.
The Minutemen took their first drive to the end zone as well. Trenton Bush capped off a six-play, 53-yard drive with a 15-yard run with 4:25 remaining in the quarter.
Bush was stopped short on Lewis County’s two-point conversion and the Bucs remained ahead, at 7-6.
A 25-yard punt return by Bryson Johnston set up B-U for their next score.
Starting at the Lewis County 25-yard line, the Bucs managed to score in just four plays as Elijah Bryant went up the middle for a 16-yard run, putting B-U up 13-6 with 4:10 left in the opening half.
Zuliani was again good with her kick as the Bucs took a 14-6 lead, which was the score at the intermission.
The Minutemen got the ball to start the second half and promptly went 65 yards in only six plays with Brayden Carder running in it from 10 yards out.
Carder found the end zone on the two-point conversion as Lewis County tied the game at 14-14.
Farmer’s big 40-yard run helped turn the tide back to the Bucs as Donnen scored on the possession with a one-yard quarterback sneak, returning the lead back to the hosts.
Zuliani was again good on her point after kick, moving the Bucs in front by a 21-14 score.
“I give a lot of credit to Donnen,” stated Davis. “He was great on both quarterback sneaks for scores and did a great job of managing the game for us.”
Zuliani kicked a 20-yard field goal for the Bucs on their next possession to increase their lead to 24-14.
Lewis County marched the ball all the way to the B-U one-yard line on their next drive, but the Minutemen coughed up the football with Joel Hershman pouncing on the loose ball at the B-U two-yard line.
B-U wasn’t able to pick up a first down but did burn 2:20 off the fourth-quarter clock.
On Lewis County’s next possession, Johnston picked off a Bryant Zielinkski pass at the B-U 15-yard line and returned it to the Buckhannon-Upshur 40-yard line before Farmer scored on his 57 yard run two plays later to seal the win for the Bucs.
“When Lewis County tied the game at 14-14, we didn’t panic,” said Davis. “We are going to keep coaching them and they are going to keep playing hard.”
Contributing to the B-U ground game behind Farmer were Bryant with 76 yards on 12 totes and Zach Mayle, who ran for 36 yards on three carries.
The B-U defense, which came up with those two big second-half turnovers, limited Lewis County to just 186 yards of total offense. The Minutemen gained 139 yards on the ground and 47 through the air.
The Bucs will remain at home next Friday as they host University at 7:30 p.m. University will enter the game with a perfect 6-0 record.
Lewis County 6 0 8 0 – 14
Buckhannon-Upshur 7 7 10 7 – 31
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ian Donnen, 2-yard run (Cameron Zuliani kick)
Lewis County – Trenton Bush, 15-yard run (run failed)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Elijah Bryant, 16-yard run (Zuliani kick)
Lewis County – Brayden Carder, 10-yard run (Carder run)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Donnen, 1-yard run (Zuliani kick)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Zuliani, 20-yard field goal
Buckhannon-Upshur – Savion Farmer, 57-yard run (Zuliani kick)
First downs – Lewis County: 13 (9 rushing, 3 passing, 1 penalty); Buckhannon-Upshur: 13 (13 rushing, 0 passing, 0 penalty).
Rushing yards – Lewis County: 39-139; Buckhannon-Upshur: 40-317.
Passing yards – Lewis County: 47; Buckhannon-Upshur: 0.
Total yards – Lewis County: 186; Buckhannon-Upshur: 317.
Passes – Lewis County: 5-8-1; Buckhannon-Upshur: 0-2-0.
Penalties – Lewis County: 7-52; Buckhannon-Upshur: 3-40.
Punts – Lewis County: 3-30.0; Buckhannon-Upshur: 1-31.0.
Fumbles – Lewis County: 2; Buckhannon-Upshur: 1.
Fumbles lost – Lewis County 1; Buckhannon-Upshur: 0.
All-return yards – Lewis County: 31; Buckhannon-Upshur: 63.
Lewis County – Brayden Carder 22-99 (1 touchdown); Trenton Bush 5-30 (1 touchdown); Jonah Clem 4-11; Bryant Zielinkski 7-3; Owen Acord 1-(-4). Totals 39-139 (2 touchdowns).
Buckhannon-Upshur – Savion Farmer 20-196 (1 touchdown); Elijah Bryant 12-76 (1 touchdown); Zach Mayle 3-36; Liam Garcia 1-4; Ian Donnen 2-3 (2 touchdowns); Luke Yardley 2-2. Totals 40-317 (4 touchdowns).
Lewis County – Zielinkski 5-for-8 for 47 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Donnen 0-for-2 for 0 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
Lewis County – Bush 2-24; Carder 1-19; Acord 1-9; Clem 1-(-5). Totals 5-47.
Buckhannon-Upshur – None.