In last week’s preview of the football game between the Greenbrier East Spartans and Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers, I had made the prediction that the game would be close with the Spartans pulling away late for a win.
I was right about the win, but completely wrong about how it would happen as the Spartans throttled the Bucs 56-14 on Friday, September 17 at Spartan Stadium in Fairlea on what was a gorgeous night for football.
East (3-1) took the ball first with good field position on their own 42-yard line. Monquelle Davis completed a swing pass to Bryson Ormsbee for 12 yards on the game’s first play, then Lucas McCallister caught one for nine more.
On the very next play, Davis went around the right side and ran past the entire defense en route to a 37-yard touchdown run and a 6-0 lead for the Spartans just 49 seconds into the game.
Levi Wagner stalled the opening Bucs possession with a third-down sack of Buckhannon-Upshur quarterback Ian Donnen, and the Spartans got the ball back again.
After a couple of nice runs from Ian Cline, McCallister capped the short drive with a 5-yard touchdown run and the Spartans took a quick 14-0 lead after the two-point conversion by Cline.
B-U (1-2) put together a nice drive on their next series, but the Spartans killed the drive again with a combined sack from Garrett Bennett, Jarett McHale and Kamon Anderson. That forced the Bucs to punt the ball back to East and put Buckhannon-Upshur in a big potential hole early.
The Spartans then used a long, methodical drive to get up the field. A 28-yard pass to Braden Bragg eventually set up Bennett’s rumbling, bumbling 26-yard TD run and East was dominating with a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bucs finally got on the board when Savion Farmer returned it 95 yards for a score. Farmer, one of the top running backs so far in the state was stymied all night by a terrific Spartan defensive effort. However, after the return, East led 21-7 with 11:16 left in the half.
East answered again easily. Cline got two nice runs including one for 25 yards and that opened the passing game up for Davis who found Ormsbee in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown strike, and the Spartans extended their lead to 28-7.
Ormsbee would catch another touchdown pass, a 6-yarder on the Spartans’ next drive as they led 35-7 and were just toying with the Bucs at that point.
Cline added a 14-yard scoring run for a commanding 42-7 halftime Spartan lead.
East’s second-half game plan was simple, run the clock and get out with a win.
Anderson recovered a fumble on B-U’s first possession of the third quarter and on offense, JT Spencer, who normally stacks the line on the defensive side of the ball, got a handoff and went nine yards for a touchdown. That made it 49-7, Spartans.
Cline added a touchdown to his resume’ midway through the fourth and it would be East’s final nail in the Bucs coffin.
Liam Garcia scampered for a 28-yard score for Buckhannon-Upshur’s final points of the game.
The Spartans got numerous young kids into the game in the second half.
East rolled up 499 yards of offense with 366 of those on the ground. The defense held the Bucs to just 82 yards for the night.
Davis was flawless and went 10-for-10 passing for 111 yards and two TD’s, and he also ran for 59 yards and a score.
Cline was named the McDonald’s player of the game after rushing for a career-high 197 yards on 19 carries. Ormsbee finished with two touchdowns on five catches for 37 yards. Donavin Penn had 43 yards on five carries in his first extensive varsity action of the season.
Anderson and Elijah White recovered fumbles for the defense.
The Spartans will be off on a bye week this week, then will travel to Mingo Central on Oct. 1.
Stats courtesy of 103.1, WRON.