Laythen Good led Buffalo in rushing last season, caught 34 passes and scored 11 touchdowns.
Buffalo has played an early-season game against Parkersburg Catholic six of the past seven years, so the Crusaders have become a bit of a barometer for the Bison.
If that holds true, Buffalo just might be pretty good this year.
The Bison rolled over the Crusaders 45-0 last Friday, giving them a split of the last six games with their Class A rivals. Most of the previous games had been fairly tight, but not this one.
Buffalo's defense held PC to 90 net yards, and Levi Jordan threw for 170 yards and four touchdowns.
"Every Catholic game had been fairly close and low scoring,'' said Bison coach Mike Sawyer. "This was a good win for us to get, especially with an open date coming up. We can get healthy, get some kids in new positions and get ready for the last nine.''
Buffalo is the only Kanawha Valley team idle this week, as it gets an early open date on its schedule. Sawyer isn't crazy about cutting into his team's momentum with an off week, but said it might be beneficial in the long run.
"Normally, I hate an early open date,'' Sawyer said, "but with the injuries we have and kids having moved to new positions, it gives us time to get everybody healthy. Of course, now we'll need [an open date] at the end of the year, but we won't have one.''
Two key skill-position players remain out for Buffalo, sophomore running back Jordan Tucker (broken hand) and junior receiver Isaiah Robinson (ankle). Tucker recently had a pin placed in his hand, Sawyer said, and could miss as many as two or three games.
Tucker was expected to split the bulk of the ball-carrying duties with swift junior Laythen Good, who also doubles as a reliable receiver. In the opener last week, Good ran eight times for 88 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 21-yard pass.
Buffalo still leans on Jordan at quarterback. He's started the past 26 games for the Bison, and has career totals of 4,543 yards, 46 TDs and 15 2-point conversions.
"He comes in a year better,'' Sawyer said of Jordan, "and I feel like his receivers can step up and do a good job for us. He lost both of his top receivers from last year. Plus, the offensive line is doing a lot better, too, and that's the other key.''
Garison Erwin (three receptions, 75 yards) caught two of Jordan's TD tosses against Parkersburg Catholic. Trevor Meade and Gabe Garrison landed the others.
Buffalo visits Putnam County rival Poca on Sept. 7 in its next game.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or email@example.com