TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur football Buccaneers will have a tall task awaiting them in their season opener Friday night when they open their 2022 campaign on the road with the Bridgeport Indians.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Wayne Jamison Field.
The Indians, one of the perennial top teams in the state, are coming off a 12-1 season where they advanced to the state semifinals before falling to Martinsburg.
Bridgeport will start the year ranked fourth in the Metro News Power Rankings.
Despite the tall order awaiting them, Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis said his Buccaneers are ready to get the season going against the Indians Friday night.
“We are ready to play, we are ready to go and we are ready to hit someone else,” stated Davis. “We have had a really good week of practice.”
Davis has always used the mantra of being concerned about how his team is competing, not so much who is on the other side of the field, and that will be the case against the Indians.
“It’s always about us and always will be about us,” stated Davis. “It is about how we execute. Our guys know who we are playing, but it’s not like we even said the word Bridgeport in practice. What matters is how we are executing and if we are ready to go.”
Davis said he doesn’t expect any surprises for the Indians Friday night.
“They run that single wing and a 4-3 defense,” remarked Davis. “It’s not that you don’t know what they are going to do. It’s just that they do it really well. That is where we would like to be as a program eventually.”
Davis said stopping the Bridgeport running attack is a key to victory for his Bucs.
“We have to stop their run,” stated Davis. “That is what they do. Maybe stop isn’t the right word. Maybe limit their yards per carry. We have to be able to run the ball and control the clock.”
The probable starting line-up for the Bucs against Bridgeport has Joel Hershman at center, Gavin Brown and left guard, Darren Daugherty at left tackle, Kaden Jordan at left tight end Bear Metheney at right guard, Ryan Kelley at right tackle, Carter Zuliani at right tight end, Elijah Bryant at left halfback, Bryson Johnston at right half back, Savion Farmer at fullback and Ian Donnen and Dawson Tenney at quarterback.
The defense will have Ryan Kelley at nose guard, Daugherty at left tackle, Zuliani at left end, Brown at right tackle, Taiwo Thropp at right end, Blake Runyon at mike linebacker Bryant at will linebacker, Liam Garcia at left corner, Farmer at right corner, Chase Hackett at rover and Johnston at free safety.
Following their game with Bridgeport, the Bucs will return home next Friday hosting Ripley.