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Parkwood outlasts Buford

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By Eric Rowell

Buford’s home opener saw the Yellow Jackets stumble and fall short to the Parkwood Rebels, of Union County, N.C., 30-22 on Friday night.

Buford, playing its first home game of the season, was eager for its first win of the 2018 season. 

Playing from behind all game, the Jackets struggled to keep the Rebels ground game at bay.

Parkwood rushed 51 times and gained 158 yards. Rebels running back Sametrius Drakeford amassed 154 of those rushing yards in the eight-point PHS win.

Parkwood started the scoring midway though the first quarter.

Neither team could generate a first down on their first two possessions, but after a Buford muffed punt that gave Parkwood the ball at the BHS 23, Parkwood quarterback Brock Cain found Kobe Funderburk for a 23-yard TD strike. Austin Shook added the extra point with 6:52 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 Rebels’ lead.

Buford fell behind by two scores after Parkwood’s Daniel Morrison intercepted Brayden Phillips and dashed 20 yards for the defensive TD.  Shook’s kick gave Parkwood a 14-0 lead with 3:17 left in the first quarter.

Shook added a 27-yard field goal with 3:22 left in the first half to extend Parkwood’s lead to 17-0.

Buford was able to gain valuable field position on its next possession, when Nick Carnes recovered a fumbled Parkwood punt at the Rebels’ 36.

Six plays later, Phillips found an open Justin Hayden for a 20-yard TD reception, bringing the home crowd to life.  Jesse Black added the kick to cut Parkwood’s lead at the half, 17-7.

Buford carried the momentum over to the second half on its first possession.

The Yellow Jackets Tyheim Miller had a 28-yard run from scrimmage to start the drive and on the third play of the drive, Phillips found Dwayne Bufford down the left sideline and after avoiding a tackle was in the end zone for a 37-yard TD reception.  Black’s kick got Buford with in three, 17-14 with just 35 seconds gone in the third quarter.  

“We didn’t think we could run the ball on these guys (Parkwood), but we were able to run the ball pretty good at times,” BHS coach Tripp Watts said.  “Tyheim had a good game for us.”

Parkwood answered on its next possession. PHS’s Brandon Logan scored on a four-yard run, capping an 80-yard, five-play drive that put the Rebels back in command, 24-14 with 10:13 left in the third period.

“Our defense played well, they are getting better every week,” Watts said. “We put them in some tough situations, but they came up big with three goal-line stands.”

Parkwood added two field goals to go up 30-14 with 7:58 left.

Buford, battling to the end, quickly worked a nine-play, 73-yard drive capped by Phillips’ 15-yard pass to an open Bufford in the corner of the end zone for the TD.  Phillips and Bufford connected again for the two-point conversion and the Rebels clung to a 30-22 lead with 5:43 left in the game.  Phillips was 14-35 for 97 yards on the night.  

The Rebels controlled the ball to seal the issue.

Buford, 0-3, opens region play tonight – Wednesday – when the Jackets host Chesterfield.

The Rams, 1-2, dropped a 49-33 loss to Anson County, N.C., on Friday night.

The game tonight at 7:30 has been reset due to the expected impact of Hurricane Florence later this week.