Buffalo, 5-2, zonked Sherwood 48-20 Friday night, assuring itself of its first winning season in at least 15 years and maybe more. It could have been a lot worse -- the Bison led 48-0 at the end of the first half.
“We scored seven touchdowns in the first half, and I’ve never been in that situation before,” Coach Ed Phillips said. “It was a long, two-hour bus ride to get to Sherwood, and our goal was to take care of business, and we did that.”
Winless Sherwood tallied its 20 points in the second half against the junior varsity and freshmen.
“The good thing about it is that it enabled us to play everybody and get them some experience,” Phillips said. “When you win big, everybody can play.”
If the Bison win one of their next two games, they will assure themselves of an overall winning season, no matter what happens in the district tournament. They have a huge challenge this Friday night at Fair Grove, however, a team that is 7-0 and state-ranked in Class 2. What’s more, since the two teams started playing each other in 2007, Fair Grove has won 11 straight, nearly all by huge margins.
“Fair Grove has a great program and is very talented at the skill positions,” Phillips said. “They are tall with a lot of ability. Their quarterback [Rhett Hill] is a dual threat with passing and running the ball, which makes him dangerous. Their defense is very aggressive.”
He added, “Fair Grove has a program that develops its athletes and has great fan support. When they graduate good players, they just advance the younger ones on up. Sports are very important to the Fair Grove community.”
At the same time, though, Phillips and his players look forward to the challenge.
“This is why you play, and this is why you coach, to be able to be a part of games like this,” he said. “Our kids understand how important this week is.”
Against Sherwood, five different players scored touchdowns, and Jamen Smith and Keaton Rackley tallied two scores each. Smith completed five of six passes for 67 yards and one touchdown, and he ran for two TDs as he carried the ball four times for 74 yards.
Rackley ran the ball 11 times for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Coltin Henderson had 15 carries for 84 yards and a TD. Bradley Hosiner ran the ball twice for nine yards and a TD, and Cole Bass was three for 14 yards.
Levi Phillips caught the only touchdown pass, a 30-yard strike from quarterback Jamen Smith. Haydon Gray caught two passes for 44 yards while Layton Moody grabbed one toss for nine yards. Hosiner grabbed one pass for 13 yards, and Jamen Smith caught one pass from Henderson for six yards.
On defense Hosiner led the way with eight tackles and one quarterback sack, and Ty Tasker had six tackles and three sacks. Rackley added four tackles.