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After being torched for five touchdown passes in a loss to Luray a week ago, the Buffalo Gap defense came out with something to prove.
The Bison defense rose to the occasion on Friday night, leading Gap to a come-from-behind 20-7 Shenandoah District victory over visiting Stonewall Jackson.
The only score by the Generals came on a 12-yard drive at the end of the first quarter, set up by a long fumble return from Juan Luna. A 21-yard scramble by quarterback Jacob Armell on the final play of the period gave Stonewall an early 7-0 cushion.
Over the next two quarters, the Bison defense allowed only 30 yards as Buffalo Gap mounted a rally.
"I was really worried coming into the game," Buffalo Gap coach Andy Cline said. "[Stonewall] is a scrappy team and they scared the lights out of me on film. Tonight, our defense played their hearts out."
Midway through the second quarter, the Bison finally got the offense moving. A series of runs by Brett Marshall and Robert Ingram moved the ball to the SJ 12. Back-to-back penalties forced Gap into a third-and-28, before Tyler Wilcher handled a high snap and tossed a 32-yard scoring pass in traffic to Scott Kiser to shave the deficit to 7-6.
"It didn't look pretty," Cline said of the touchdown. "Tyler threw a great ball and the football gods were looking down on us. It was a good catch and a good pass."
An 18-play drive early in the third quarter helped the Bison erase the remainder of the deficit. On fourth-and-10, Wilcher rolled right and threaded a 12-yard TD pass to Kiser for a 12-7 lead with 1:37 remaining in the period.
Another defensive stop in the opening seconds of the fourth forced the Generals to punt. The attempt was blocked by Daniel Dudley and recovered in the end zone by Stonewall, resulting in a safety and a 14-7 advantage for Gap.
On the ensuing free kick, Marshall raced 71 yards up the right sideline with the return for a big insurance score.
The Buffalo Gap defense finished things off with a pair of goal line stands. Darold Shrewsbury recovered a fumble at the 1 to stop one drive. The other ended on downs with just over a minute remaining.