BUFFALO — It was an unusual first scrimmage, to say the least, for Buffalo on Saturday night.
For one thing, there was no officiating crew. For another, the Bison dressed only 17 players and lost one of those shortly after the scrimmage began. Then the workout was called off a little more than an hour after it started on a sultry evening.
And even though Ritchie County outscored Buffalo two touchdowns to one, Bison coach Brian Batman came away feeling pretty good about his team, all things considered.
“I felt like we got a little mentally tougher tonight,’’ Batman said. “We only dressed  kids and some of them were in every single play, so it was tough on them.’’
Batman said he and Rebels coach Rick Haught agreed to an abbreviated scrimmage because each team was battling numerous injuries with the regular season less than two weeks away. In fact, Buffalo actually called off the scrimmage for a few hours on Thursday due to the number of injured players, and that’s when the teams lost their officiating crew, which found another place to go, and no replacements could be found.
“They still wanted to go,’’ Batman said of the Rebels. “We’ve both had some injuries, and we wanted to keep everybody healthy, so that was the main thing.’’
Ritchie got its scores on a 39-yard pass from Dakota Wayne to Kayden Procacina and a 5-yard run by Ethan Haught. Buffalo countered with a 10-yard pass from Jackson England to David Whittington, which was set up by a 46-yard run from Alex Tempus.
The Rebels got much of their yardage from chunk pass plays, as the Bison defensive line appeared solid despite its low numbers.
“I think defensively we played pretty well at the beginning,’’ Batman said. “That was one of the things I really liked. Eight of the first 10 plays were really good. So we just switched schemes a little bit, and I think that’s going to help us out a bunch.’’
Batman thinks the deficiencies in pass coverage shouldn’t linger.
“It’s just assignment stuff,’’ he said. “It’s easily fixable. We’ve just got to read our keys and understand what we’re doing and get out of the old habits that we have, and we’ll just keep working on it. That was definitely a negative, for sure.’’
Buffalo finished with 132 yards on 23 plays, including 77 yards on 12 carries. Besides Tempus’ one rushing attempt, Eli Brock had 29 yards on seven carries. England was 5 of 11 passing for 55 yards with one interception. Whittington had two catches for 21 yards.
The Bison concludes its preseason schedule at 7 p.m. Friday at Roane County.