TENNERTON – Oak Hill wasn’t a very accommodating homecoming guest for the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers in their non-conference contest Friday night at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.
The Bucs couldn’t hold an early 7-3 lead and dropped a 27-7 contest to the Red Devils.
With former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon and former major league pitcher Storm Davis (father of B-U head coach Zach Davis) in attendance, the Bucs were unable to slow down the Oak Hill running game as the Red Devils piled up 326 yards on the ground averaging 6.7 yards per rush.
“We just don’t pursue and run very well on defense right now,” stated Davis. “We don’t run well to spots. If we move our defense outside to stop their sweep, then they run it up the middle. We talked about how we need to improve our mobility and it is still something we struggle with when another team gets into the open field. It’s not for a lack of effort from our team, but if you are big and can’t move, it negates your size.”
Ethan Vargo-Thomas kicked a 27-yard field goal on the Red Devils’ first possession to stake them to a 3-0 lead with 8:52 left in the opening quarter.
The Bucs responded with a perfect drive that chewed up almost seven minutes and covered 75 yards in 11 plays.
The big play of the drive was a 27-yard reception by Bryson Johnston from quarterback Dawson Tenney and the possession ended on a one-yard keeper by Tenney with 2:10 left in the first quarter.
Wyatt Morris was good on his extra point kick as the Bucs took a 7-3 lead.
Oak Hill scored 20 unanswered points after that.
“I was very surprised that we weren’t really able to sustain our drives after the first one,” noted Davis. “We just weren’t able to get the offense going after that.”
The Red Devils went on a 12-play drive that went 74 yards on their next possession that Alex Baxter capped off with a two-yard run.
Vargo-Thomas made the point-after kick making it a 10-7 contest with 9:05 left in the second quarter.
Malaki Lewis scored from two yards out and Vargo-Thomas made the kick with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter to treat the Red Devils to a 17-7 lead.
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter but Vargo-Thomas gave the Red Devils a 20-7 lead with a 33-yard field goal with 10:13 left in the game.
Oak Hill scored late in the game on a one-yard run by J. D. Maritz with 1:10 remaining in the contest.
“I thought we had a good game plan and we were prepared for Oak Hill, but their skill players are just really good and that was the story of the game,” concluded Davis.
The Bucs piled up 203 yards of offense getting 176 yards on the ground and 27 through the air.
Savion Farmer led the ground game with 93 yards on 19 carries while Elijah Bryant picked up 29 yards on eight carries.
Tenney completed three of his six passes for 27 yards.
Oak Hill gained all of their 326 yards on the ground as Malaki Lewis gained 100 yards and scored once on eight attempts.
Oak Hill improved to 5-3 on the year.
The Bucs dropped their fourth straight game and fell to 2-5 on the season.
B-U will be back in action next Friday as they host Grafton at 7 p.m.
Oak Hill 3 14 0 10 – 27
Buckhannon-Upshur 7 0 0 0 – 7
Oak Hill – Ethan Vargo-Thomas, 27-yard field goal.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Dawson Tenney, 1-yard run (Wyatt Mason kick).
Oak Hill – Alex Baxter, 2-yard run (Vargo-Thomas kick).
Oak Hill – Malaki Lewis, 2-yard run (Vargo-Thomas kick).
Oak Hill – Vargo-Thomas, 33-yard field goal.
Oak Hill – J. D. Maritz, 1-yard run (Vargo-Thomas kick).
First downs – Oak Hill: 16 (15 rushing, 0 passing, 1 penalty); Buckhannon-Upshur: 12 (10 rushing, 1 passing, 1 penalty).
Rushing yards – Oak Hill: 49-326; Buckhannon-Upshur: 42-176.
Passing yards – Oak Hill: 0; Buckhannon-Upshur: 27.
Total yards – Oak Hill: 326; Buckhannon-Upshur: 203.
Passes – Oak Hill: 0-2-0; Buckhannon-Upshur: 3-6-1.
Penalties – Oak Hill: 8-67; Buckhannon-Upshur: 4-38.
Punts – Oak Hill: 0-0.0; Buckhannon-Upshur: 0-0.0.
Fumbles – Oak Hill: 1; Buckhannon-Upshur: 3.
Fumbles lost – Oak Hill: 0; Buckhannon-Upshur: 2.
All-return yards – Oak Hill: 36; Buckhannon-Upshur: 80.
Oak Hill – Malaki Lewis 8-100 (1 touchdown); J. D. Maritz 14-91 (1 touchdown); Omar Lewis 9-57; Alex Baxter 8-47 (1 touchdown); Elijah Gray 4-29; Ethan Vargo-Thomas 4-4; team 2-(-2). Totals 49-326 (3 touchdowns).
Buckhannon-Upshur – Savion Farmer 19-93; Elijah Bryant 8-29; Dawson Tenney 5-25 (1 touchdown); Bryson Johnston 7-16; Taiwo Thropp 2-14; Wyatt Morris 1-(-1). Totals 42-176 (1 touchdown).
Oak Hill – Lewis 0-for-2 for 0 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Tenney 3-for-6 for 27 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Oak Hill – None.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Johnston 1-27; Farmer 2-0. Totals 3-27.