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Eagles soar by Jackets on solid ground attack

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Heath Joplin

 

BUFORD – The Buford Yellow Jackets looked to get back in the win column Friday night as they hosted Region IV-AA heavyweight Central High School of Pageland.

The Jackets entered the game with a 3-3 record overall, but are 3-1 when holding their opponents under 100 yards rushing.

In fact, in the Jackets’ three wins, they have allowed an average of only 58 yards a contest.

Unfortunately, those numbers mattered little to the CHS Eagles, who rushed for 258 yards on their way to the 27-0 shutout.

BHS took the first possession, but quietly went three and out to set a predenct for the game’s early action.

CHS took over and went to work. The Eagles, starting from their 24, drove 76 yards in nine plays for the first score. Dedrick Robinson’s nine-yard score gave CHS a 6-0 lead.

The point-after failed thanks to a high snap to holder John Ashley Rollings, who was holding for his brother, Joseph Rollings.

The Jackets took the next possession at their 45, but could not take advantage of the promising field position to force a punt after three downs.

Central, taking over again at its 24, used the same formula to produce the same result.

CHS needed two plays, with Robinson dashing 74 yards on the second play of the drive for the score. Rollings added the kick for a 13-0 lead.

Buford, taking over after the Eagles’ kickoff, couldn’t generate any offense. The Jackets’ third possession was a three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Eagles.

Conversly, Central took the BHS kickoff and began its third scoring drive.

The Eagles, aided by a Quan Welch 41-yard run, moved quickly into Jackets’ territory.

On the first play of the second period, Eagles’ quarterback Drae Linton-Wright connected with Nick Knotts on a 20-yard touchdown pass.

Central converted on the two-point conversion for a 21-0 halftime lead.

“We obviously started slow and didn’t recover,” Buford High coach Mike Wells said. “There’s not a lot to say. We simply were outplayed.”

In the third quarter, the Eagles added their final score of the game. CHS, taking advantage of a Jackets’ fumble, tallied a TD.

Central’s Knotts recovered the loose ball at the BHS 21.

Moments later, Eagles’ running back Mitch Meadows powered in from a yard out for a 27-0 lead.

As the fourth quarter closed, the one BHS bright spot was Jesse Stacks’ 100-yard rushing effort on 17 carries.

Stacks, a BHS junior, became the first Jackets running back to hit the 100-yard rushing mark this season.

“We settled down and played a better second half of football,” Wells said. “The damage had been done though. We’ve got to start playing with a greater sense of urgency.”

The Jackets, 3-4, fell to 0-2 in region play.

Buford will be home again next week to close out the regular season home schedule as the Cheraw Braves visit.

CHS, 3-4, 2-0, rolled to a 40-20 home win over AJ.

Central hosts Indian Land, which dropped a 38-3 home loss to Chesterfield.