Wahama repeats win over Buffalo
POINT PLEASANT - Wahama had a whole different mindset Friday in its rematch with Buffalo.
Junior Kane Roush rushed for 206 yards and scored four touchdowns as third-seeded Wahama manhandled No. 14 Buffalo 38-0 Friday night in the opening round of the Class A playoffs. A crowd of about 1,500 mostly red-clad White Falcons fans attended at Point Pleasant High School.
Wahama (11-0) will play in next week's quarterfinals against the winner of today's game between No. 6 Greenbrier West and No. 11 Meadow Bridge, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today. The place and date of the quarterfinals will be be determined Sunday.
Wahama defeated visiting Buffalo 41-13 last week in Mason in last week's regular-season finale. The Bison took the lead twice in that game until the White Falcons bunched together three TDs in the final 4:45 of the first half to take control.
"A whole lot more fire than we had last week,'' said Roush. "From the first down we knew we had to give it all we had.
"It's a whole different ballgame in the playoffs. You lose you're out. Whatever we can do to get to Wheeling, that's what we're going to do.''
Senior Zack Wamsley added 134 yards on 21 attempts with two scores as Wahama chalked up 551 of its 583 total yards on the ground. The White Falcons had five backs total 62 yards or more.
It was evident from the first time Wahama touched the ball that the game would be different this time around. The White Falcons scored on their four possessions in the first half to take a 26-0 lead at halftime.
The Bison (7-4) fumbled on the first play of its opening drive then dropped a pass on the second play, foreshadowing things to come. Buffalo punted on its first three drives then turned the ball over on downs on the final possession of the opening half.
"It was like [our players] were done after last week,'' said Buffalo coach Mike Sawyer, who saw his team held to minus-1 yard rushing, 126 total yards and six first downs. "I was worried about that and how their psyche would be after last week.
"That team was just a lot tougher than we were. Up front they just whipped us. We had trouble blocking them, we had trouble moving the ball on offense, we had trouble stopping them on defense. We didn't come to play like we needed to. We just didn't execute very well.''
Buffalo junior Isaiah Robinson intercepted a pass to end Wahama's first drive of the second half, but the Bison punted and Roush finished off the White Falcons' ensuing drive with a 15-yard scoring run for a 32-0 advantage late in the third quarter.
The Bisons' next two possessions ended with a punt, a turnover on downs with back-to-back sacks from Wahama junior Colton Neal and an interception by White Falcons freshman Jared Nutter.
"[Playing] back-to-back was kind of a concern for us,'' said Wahama coach Ed Cromley, "but we used the physicality of last week as a jump-off point to take off on this game.
"Their center was hurt early and they had another player hurt and they were thin as it was. I think that really hurt them a lot. We made some adjustments to stop their dump pass that hurt us in the first game that they kept drives going along. We're so much bigger than they are. You can't coach big and you can't coach fast.''
Buffalo senior quarterback Levi Jordan, who made his 35th straight start, completed 14 of 23 passes for 127 yards with one interception. Bison junior Laythen Good caught five passes for 52 yards.
"The kids played hard all year,'' said the Buffalo coach. "I enjoyed the year, it just ended on a bad note.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4811.