Buffalo Gap tops Stonewall

QUICKSBURG – Stonewall Jackson High School has a new-look backfield, but the adjustment was not enough to slow down No. 1 Group 2A East leader Buffalo Gap on Friday night, as the Bison handed the Generals a 42-6 defeat in Shenandoah District football.

The victory kept the record of the Bison tied with Clarke County at 24.43 for the top power ratings spot in the region, rolling with a 3-1 district record, 7-1 overall. Meanwhile, Stonewall fell to 1-4, 1-7 with its fourth straight setback.

“I want to say this and I’d like to say it in the paper. Since these kids came to me on Aug. 1, and they have worked hard. We had kids who didn’t know how to block and tackle. They didn’t understand the pass patterns we run; and, for us to get to here has been a long climb. I can’t fault the effort,” said Stonewall coach Jay Goode.

“We were a little sluggish at first, but we shook it off. We have some size on the line and some athletes which we can use,” added Buffalo Gap coach Andy Cline.

Stonewall has used senior Nathan Miller at the quarterback’s spot for most of the season, but in a 44-16 loss at East Rockingham County on Oct. 16, Goode tabbed 5-foot-9, 129-pound sophomore Brendan Hoover at quarterback. Miller, at 161 pounds, moved to fullback against Buffalo Gap.

“I thought Brendan did a good job and I told him so, afterward,” said Goode.

The youngster completed seven of 13 passes with one intercepted. He threw for 93 yards.

Miller scored Stonewall’s only touchdown, a 10-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Otherwise, for Buffalo Gap, sophomore Dylan Thompson rushed three times for 100 yards and two touchdowns; David Mullins added 87 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, and Austin Comer carried four times for 77 yards and a pair of scores.

The visitors completed just one pass.

Buffalo Gap’s Thompson started off the scoring by going around left end for a 73-yard touchdown run. The extra point failed but the Bison led 6-0 with 2:54 left in the first period.

The Bison’s second score came after a Zach Thompson interception, although there was a holding penalty on the play. Nonetheless Buffalo Gap had the ball on the Stonewall 36.

On the next play Mullins carried around right end, made a tackler whiff and carried for the score. The 2-point conversion was good for a 14-0 lead with 48.6 left in the first quarter.

Comer scored Buffalo Gap’s third touchdown, a 46-yard run. The try for the 2 was good and the Bison held a 22-0 lead with 9:08 in the half.

Another Buffalo Gap score was set up when a snap went over Stonewall’s punter’s head. With the ball at the Generals’ 31, it took seven consecutive runs by the Bison for the score. It was Mullins going in from the two. The 2-point conversion was good for a 30-0 lead with 3:26 left in the half.

Buffalo Gap got close to scoring again when it got the ball on a punt at the Bison 46.

Thompson ripped off 16 yards and Josh Reed picked up an additional 12 to get the ball to the 27. After another 16-yard run to the 11. However, after a two-yard gain, quarterback Lucas Wheeler mishandled a snap, though he did recover. Nonetheless, the Bison gave up the ball on downs as the second-half seconds were ticking off.

Buffalo Gap held Stonewall to a one-yard rushing average in the first half in part due to sacks and the bad punt snap. Unofficially, the Generals carried 20 times for 20 yards in the first 24 minutes.

Stonewall was held to 50 yards of total offense in the first two frames.

Meanwhile, Buffalo Gap rushed 30 times for 268 yards. The Bison did not throw a pass in the first half.

They did so in half two. Quarterback Lucas Wheeler hooked up with Comer for a 49-yard strike to the eight. Then Comer carried from there for the score. The 2-point conversion was intercepted. It was 36-0 with 10:48 left in the third quarter.

From there, the clock ran unabated (with the exception of penalties and injuries) because of the 35-point advantage rule in Virginia high school football.

Nothing seemed to stop Buffalo Gap. Earning the ball on its own 48, the Bison went nine, penalty-interrupted snaps before Thompson ran around right end for the 29-yard touchdown. The kick failed, but it was 42-0 with 4:26 showing in the third quarter.

Dylan Vann gave Stonewall the ball on a fumble recovery to set up the Generals’ first points of the night.

Brendan Hoover snaked a pass to Jake Kagey Jr, good for 14 yards to the 10. Miller scored from there. The 2-point conversion failed. The score was 42-6 with 9:03 left in the game.

Stonewall totaled 23 yards rushing on 32 carries. It produced 116 yards of total offense. Buffalo Gap rushed for 314 yards on 30 carries.