Gary Clark Special to OVP
November 9, 2013
BUFFALO, W.Va. — As was expected, eighth-ranked Wahama experienced little trouble against winless Buffalo Friday night as the Bend Area grid team posted a relatively easy 66-18 win over its biggest rival. The contest was played before a large following of White Falcon supporters on a frigid evening and was the regular season finale for both schools.
The victory was the ninth of the season for the White Falcons against one loss with Wahama likely securing a home playoff berth for the third straight year.
The reigning Class A state football champions entered the contest with an eighth place position among playoff hopefuls in the latest WVSSAC ratings and will in all probability maintain that position following Clay-Battelle’s loss to #1 Madonna and Williamstown’s win over Roane County.
Clay-Battelle is the likely first round opponent for Wahama but the official release concerning the Falcons post-season agenda will be announced on Sunday afternoon by the WVSSAC.
Buffalo finished the 2013 grid campaign with an 0-10 record with the Bison’s suffering through an injury plagued season that severely damaged their traditional high school football expectations.
Wyatt Zuspan received his first start of the season at quarterback against Buffalo and the senior signal caller made the most of his opportunity in the one-sided triumph.
Zuspan tossed a pair of scoring passes and added two more successful PAT conversion tosses while completing nine of 12 passes on the night for 102 yards. He also scored a touchdown, ran a pair of extra point conversions and totaled 48 yards rushing in only four attempts.
A 2013 Wahama football win would not exist without the accomplishments of senior running back, Kane Roush, who joined Zuspan in the spotlight. Roush scored three touchdowns and two point after conversions while running for 116 yards in nine carries and grabbing four receptions for 42 yards and a score.
Also figuring heavily in the White Falcons’ rout were Randall Robie, Colton Neal and Garrett Miller. Robie returned an interception for a touchdown in addition to catching a scoring pass from Zuspan with Neal providing another impressive outing both offensively and defensively. Miller was instrumental on defense with his stellar play which included several tackles, sacks and batted down passes.
Although the aforementioned standouts enjoyed highly regarded accolades for their play in the win the prominent leaders in the affair was the interior line play for the White Falcons. Seniors Wesley Harrison, Lane Sparks and Josh Haddox along with junior Brent Larck and sophomores Tyler Hesson and Clayton Sines controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the night which afforded the Mason County team the ability to coast to the gridiron victory.
Wahama jumped out to a 24-0 advantage in the opening quarter with Roush scoring twice on a one yard touchdown reception and a one yard run and Robie returning an interception 36 yards for six points. Roush ran an extra point with Jarod Nutter grabbing a Zuspan pass and Zuspan upping the lead to 24-0 with a successful PAT run.
Buffalo tallied its first touchdown with 1:11 to play in the first period when Jordon Tucker caught a 33 yard pass from Conner Fields to cut the gap to 24-6.
The White Falcons then reeled off three unanswered touchdowns in the second canto to up its lead to 46-6 at the half. Colton Neal opened the Falcons scoring prior to the halftime break with a three yard run with Roush going on an 18 yard scamper and Robie catching a 21 yard pass from Zuspan. Neal ran one two-point PAT conversion with Roush catching a Zuspan offering for another successful two-point play.
Zuspan ran six yards and also tacked on the conversion run to open the second half scoring before Isaiah Robinson caught a Fields pass for a seven yard touchdown for Buffalo. The two teams traded scores in the final 2:48 of the third stanza with Wyatt Wooten racing 26 yards for Wahama and Robinson breaking away on a 65 yard run for Buffalo.
The lone score in the fourth period was the result of a 33 yard run by Timmy Gibbs to bring the final count to 66-18. Gibbs totaled 61 yards on the ground for Wahama on just four carries while Wooten netted 41 yards in three tries.
Buffalo turned in a credible performance despite the huge setback. The Putnam County team, with its winless record and nearly 50 point deficit never gave up which was a tribute to the Bison squad and its coaches.
Robinson led the hosts statistically with two scores on a run and a pass reception and finished the night with 75 yards on the ground and another 24 yards receiving. Conner Fields completed six of 14 aerials for Buffalo for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Wahama will now await the announcement of its first round opponent following a meeting in Parkersburg among the 16 teams comprising the playoff field. Should the White Falcons retain the eighth place ranking they will host a first round contest at Point Pleasant High School at 7:30 p.m. on Friday or Saturday night or at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
The visiting team will select the date and time of the postseason affair. Neighboring Point Pleasant will also host a first round playoff contest next week and the Big Blacks playoff opponent will have the first choice of when to play with the Falcons’ foe selecting from the remaining two dates.