TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur football Buccaneers will play their season finale Friday night when they host the Preston Knights in a Big 10 Conference battle with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
It will be “Senior Night” for the Bucs with 12 seniors playing their final game in the Blue and White.
“Senior night always brings a tear to my eye,” said Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis. “You think of all the stuff we have done together as a team with the seniors. I meet with our four captains every Monday morning to talk. Some of it’s football, some of it’s just about life. Getting to know them and their stories is cool. I am going to miss those guys. It will be hard to see them go.”
The Bucs, who will enter the game with a 3-6 record, are coming off an impressive 41-6 win over the Grafton Bearcats last Friday in a contest where junior tailback Wyatt Morris ran for 230 yards and four scores. Going into the Preston game, Morris needs just 43 rushing yards to go over the 1,000 yard-mark.
“As far as the Grafton game is concerned, we ran the ball well and played well,” stated Davis. “If we are going to be good here, we have to be able to run the football. We threw the ball well too, but with the weather and the score, we didn’t need to throw it a whole lot.”
Davis said his Bucs had another good week of practice heading into the finale.
“We had a good week of practice,” remarked Davis. “You would think we are 9-0 at this point with the way our guys practice. That is a testament to our kids and our coaching staff.”
The Bucs will face a Preston team that enters the game with a 1-7 record, but six of their eight games have been against teams ranked in the top 16 in either Class AAA or AA.
“They have had a tough schedule like us,” Davis noted. “They face the same struggles that we do being a rural single school county and drawing kids from a long distance away.”
The Knights have had trouble keeping teams out of the end zone. During their current four-game losing streak(East Fairmont, Woodrow Wilson, Bridgeport, and University), Preston has given up 194 points (48.5 per game).
“They have some good-looking kids playing for them,” noted Davis. “You look at their line and they have some good size; they have a good quarterback and tailbacks in Ethan Likens and Sheldon Miller. Miller is their speed guy and Likens is there bruiser. They have some good players on defense. I expect a good game. I think we are two evenly matched teams.”
Preston runs a spread offense but likes to run more than throw out of the spread and on defense they run a 4-2-5.
“To win this game, we need to follow the Grafton model,” said Davis. “We need to control the line of scrimmage, be able to run the football and stop their running game. We want to win this game for our seniors. I am not sure how much momentum a win Friday carries into next season, but we want to play well and win for them.”