BUFFALO, W.Va. — Once they stopped turning the ball over, the Bison started turning things around.
The Wahama football team built a 14-0 first quarter lead after forcing two turnovers on Buffalo’s first two drives of the game, but the host Bison ultimately recorded five takeaways and reeled off 20 straight points Friday night during a 20-14 decision in a Week 11 non-conference matchup at Buffalo Stadium.
The host Bison (5-4) fumbled the opening kickoff away and had their second offensive drive end in an interception, and the White Falcons (5-5) eventually made good on both of those takeaways.
Sawyer VanMatre capped a 7-play, 24-yard drive with a 2-yard run at the 9:15 mark for a 6-0 WHS advantage, then VanMatre found Andrew Roush with a 17-yard scoring pass at the 4:30 mark. Aaron Henry hauled in a 2-point conversion pass from VanMatre for an early 14-point cushion.
BHS answered with a 12-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a Josh Moody 12-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Jones on the first play of the second quarter, cutting the deficit down to 14-6 with 11:51 remaining in the half.
Buffalo forced a Wahama turnover on the ensuing drive, then covered 46 yards in four plays as Bradley Harris rumbled 25 yards to the house for a 14-12 contest with 9:52 left until halftime.
The White Falcons twice turned the ball over and Buffalo also had another giveaway during the remaining 9-plus minutes of the first half, which eventually left the contest at its 2-point margin headed into the intermission.
Both teams traded punts and then Wahama had its second drive of the second half end in a loss of downs, allowing the hosts to take over possession at their own 38.
The Bison needed only three plays and 38 seconds to cover the 62-yard distance, with Jonah Wilfong plunging in from a yard out with 3:17 left in the third stanza. Jones added a successful 2-point conversion to make it a 20-14 contest.
The White Falcons had three more offensive drives the rest of the way. The first ended on a loss of downs at the BHS 23 near the end of the third canto, then turnovers closed out the final two drives while allowing the Bison to maintain that slim 6-point advantage.
Buffalo retained the ball at its own 43 with 2:57 left and mustered three first downs in four plays, which ultimately ran the remaining clock down to all zeroes to complete the 20-14 outcome.
BHS claimed a 17-14 edge in first downs and outgained the guests by a 304-244 overall margin in total yards. The hosts also finished the night plus-2 in turnover differential.
VanMatre paced Wahama with 95 rushing yards on 28 carries and also went 2-of-13 passing for 33 yards in the setback, including two picks and one touchdown pass. Roush hauled in both passes for 33 yards.
Harris led Buffalo with 127 rushing yards on 26 carries, followed by Jones with 76 yards on four tries. Moody completed 6-of-8 passes for 43 yards, with Jones leading the wideouts with two catches for eight yards.
Despite the .500 season record, Wahama has recorded back-to-back non-losing records over the last two years — a first for the program since the 2013-14 campaigns.
Buffalo has won three straight and six of the last seven in this head-to-head matchup.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.