TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur football Buccaneers will look to finish the 2021 season on a positive note as they face the Elkins Tigers on the road in a Big 10 encounter Friday night.
The Bucs will enter the game with a 2-7 record while the Tigers will bring a 0-9 mark into the contest, which is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. in Elkins.
The Bucs are coming off a 30-14 upset loss to previously winless Preston last Friday, but Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis said his team shook off that game and are focused on winning their Route 33 battle with Elkins.
“We honestly have had a great week of practice,” Davis noted. “It’s another rivalry game, and we are 2-0 in those this year with Philip Barbour and Lewis County. We want to finish that off with a win over Elkins. We’ve had a fun week at practice and they are ready to go.”
The contest is the “Battle for the Axe” between the two schools.
“We want to have both trophies back here,” said Davis, whose Bucs won the “Battle for the Pick” against Lewis County a few weeks ago. “We want both of those in our trophy cases.”
Elkins enters the game after being shutout in their last two contests by identical 53-0 scores by Fairmont Senior and Frankfort.
Elkins has scored just 54 points in eight games played. They forfeited a game to Lincoln three weeks ago. Despite their record, Davis said Elkins has several impressive players on their roster, including freshman quarterback Ethan McCarty.
“He is only 5-8, 125 pounds but he is a tough, physical player,” remarked Davis. “Junior Chase Workman does a nice job on the line and is probably their best lineman.”
Davis says he expects a fired-up Tiger squad ready to meet his team Friday night.
“I know they will be ready to play,” stated Davis. “That said, our guys are ready to go too. We want to beat Elkins. We are ready to roll.”
Davis said the Bucs need a fast start to the game and will want to put the winless Tigers away early in the contest.
“We need to take care of the football and assert our physical dominance on them early in the game,” noted Davis. “We want to take care of this game early. We will need to be able to run the ball early against them.”
Friday’s game will be the lone contest the Bucs play on grass this year. As a result, the team practiced on the grass practice soccer field on Wednesday, but Davis doesn’t believe that the playing surface will impact the game much.
“It shouldn’t make much of a difference,” stated Davis. “They grow up playing on grass, they should be fine.”
Davis concluded by noting how quickly his first year at Buckhannon-Upshur has passed.
“Every year goes by faster,” said Davis. “Win or lose, our guys have come ready to practice with the desire to get better. I think some teams had better watch out for us over the next couple of years.”