TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Buccaneers look to get back on track this Friday after last week’s loss to Grafton. Last week’s game was highly competitive excluding one quarter, which swung the momentum in favor of Grafton. The Bucs played better than the score suggested. They moved the ball consistently and played physical, hard-nosed defense, but overall, their valiant effort was undone, mainly due to losing the turnover battle.
After a productive film session Monday, Coach Davis feels that his team is ready to move forward and put last week in the rearview mirror. “I think our team will respond well, much as they have all season when we have faced adversity. We will keep fighting and keep improving,” assured Coach Davis.
This week of practices will allow the Bucs’ coaching staff to refocus their squad, build up their morale, and begin to retool their game plan for their next opponent. That next opponent comes to Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Field this Friday night in the form of the Preston County Knights. Preston County will enter the game with a winless mark so far on the season, but they have played some notable competition, including University, John Marshall, and Bridgeport. While the Knights have struggled mightily, they are, by no means, a team that the Bucs can overlook.
Despite Preston County’s record, Coach Davis and the Bucs aren’t taking a light approach into preparing for this week’s game. Coach Davis explained, “They have played a really tough schedule. They are well-coached, disciplined, and play hard. It’ll be a challenge, but I believe our football team is up for it.”
Coach Davis is focusing on coaching his team’s effort. “I want our team to go out and compete to the best of their abilities. That is the goal every week,” he noted. This week in practice, he will look to push the Bucs to greater heights in hopes of finishing the last leg of the season strong.
The Bucs keys to victory this week are simply to establish the running game on offense and slow down Preston County’s rushing attack on defense. I would expect the Bucs to lean heavily on the physicality of their offensive and defensive lines in their efforts to beat Preston County. If the Bucs’ offensive line can create a push upfront, the Bucs’ rushing game will flourish. If the Bucs defensive line can clog running lanes, then the Knights will find it difficult to move the ball consistently and to sustain drives. If the Bucs can manage to win the turnover battle and set the tone this Friday with their running game and stout defense, then it should bode well for their chances at victory.
After the Bucs homestand against Preston County this Friday at 7:00 p.m., they will set their sights on their season finale against conference rival Elkins next Friday. With a rivalry game and the chance to “Win Route 33” looming just a week ahead, Coach Davis is stressing to his team that they can’t look ahead to Elkins until they defeat Preston County.