TENNERTON – Fresh off their 42-3 win last Friday against Ripley, the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers will look to make it two in a row when they visit the Philip Barbour Colts this Friday night in a Big 10 Conference clash.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis said his team didn’t get too low after their week one loss to Bridgeport and won’t get too overconfident after the Ripley win but does admit getting that first win was a confidence booster for his team.
“Our mindset is the same as always,” noted Davis. “Practice is practice, it’s always the same process each week. We are just trying to get them ready for the next game. You don’t want to burn them out before the game, but you want to have them ready to play on Friday night and that is the art of coaching. That said, the Ripley win helps our team, but really that game was won last Monday through Thursday in practice. Friday is the culmination of the work you put in. Our guys were excited to get the win and they are ready to go this Friday night.”
Davis said his Bucs came out of the Ripley game relatively healthy.
While the Bucs were dismantling Ripley, the Colts were on their bye week last week after crushing Grafton in week one by a 56-27 score.
“I don’t know if that bye week will help them or hurt them,” stated Davis. “You like to have the bye week, it gives you a chance to get healthy, but after their win over Grafton, you have to wonder if the bye week will stop some of their momentum from that impressive victory. You haven’t played enough games to know who you really are for a bye week in week two. Or it could wind up helping them, we are simply going to prepare as best we can.”
Davis is 2-0 against the Colts, beating them 27-16 on a last-minute interception returned for a touchdown in 2021 and then last season by a 26-22 when Philip Barbour’s best player Deshawn Webster was suspended for the B-U game.
“You have to think that Philip Barbour feels that maybe they let those two games get away from them and that they should have won them,” remarked Davis. “I expect another close game with them.”
Davis said the offensive and defense line impresses him those most about the Philip Barbour team.
“They have a bunch of good players on the line, and most go both ways on offense and defense,” said Davis. “They have an impressive tight end in junior Trenton Bodkins. Their quarterback, senior Kaden Humphreys, is a good one with a lot of games under his belt. So, they have a lot of talent and are well-coached.”
The Bucs racked up 283 rushing yards in their win over Ripley last week and only 15 through the air as they didn’t need to throw the ball in the blowout win.
Junior tailback Wyatt Morris gained 147 yards on 20 carries and two scores while senior Bryson Johnston tallied 66 yards on 12 totes and one score.
“If we can get our ground game going again, everything else rolls off of that,” commented Davis. “It is how we operate here. We expected Wyatt to have a break-out game for us like that. We have seen him do it the last two years at the junior varsity level, so we knew he could do it on a Friday night.”
Davis said winning the turnover battle and limiting Philip Barbour’s big plays are the key to a win Friday night.”
“We need to win the turnover battle,” stated Davis. “We need to control the clock and limit Philip Barbour’s big plays. They had several against Grafton.”
Following the Bucs’ outing at Philip Barbour this Friday night, they will visit Elkins next Friday night.