TENNERTON – One of West Virginia’s longest standing and most historic rivalries will come up again on Friday night when the Lewis County Minutemen visit the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers at Freal “Red” Crites Stadium for a shot. ‘dispatch at 7 p.m.
Last year’s Battle of Route 33 match was called off due to COVID-19 protocols in place at the time, putting a brief hiatus in the 120-year-old rivalry.
The modern streak between Buckhannon-Upshur and Lewis County dates back to 1966 when the Bucs have a 38-16 lead in the rivalry.
It will be the first taste of the rivalry for Buckhannon-Upshur first-year head coach Zach Davis.
“I’m excited for this game,” Davis joked. “It’s good to play rivalry games. We got a taste of it with Philip Barbour a few weeks ago, but Lewis County is still a big game for this program.
The Bucs will enter the Lewis County game 1-4 (their cancellation at Bridgeport officially turned into a forfeit loss this week) after a 33-14 loss last week to John Marshall.
The Bucs moved the ball well in the backhand with 230 rushing yards, but they only managed two passing yards and returned the ball four times.
“We ran the ball well last week,” said Davis. “I thought we left a lot on the table as well. We need to be able to draw our skills from practice and in a controlled environment towards playtime and a more chaotic environment. It was our first game at home, the lights were on, we might have nerves, but we will overcome. I thought we had another good week of training this week.
Lewis County will also enter the game 1-4 after playing a competitive game last week against Class AA No.1 Lincoln in a 21-6 loss.
Lincoln needed two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to fend off the Minutemen on Friday night.
Last week, the Minutemen’s offense was led by half-back Drew Cayton, who ran 72 yards on 12 carries.
Lewis County’s only win was a 22-8 win over winless Elkins on September 10.
“Lewis County is very strong in their plans,” Davis said. “They are committed to it and they want to do a good job with it. I’m not sure they have a single player who stands out because they all play hard and physically. They are going to make you beat them because they are not going to fight themselves and that is all credit to their coaching staff.
The Bucs are hoping to continue their success on the field as junior fullback Savion Farmer won another 100-yard game last week against John Marshall. Farmer has three 100-yard games under his belt this season.
“Savion really came this season,” Davis remarked. “It’s a special back. We expect to use it as much as we have or even more for the rest of the season. “
Davis said stopping the run while managing to run the ball will be two of the keys to the Bucs winning the game on Friday night.
“We have to stop the race because Lewis County is doing a good job,” Davis noted. “And we have to continue to manage the ball well. We also need to throw the ball better. We have to take what they give us in the passing game. We just need to do a better job of executing our game plan this week. “
After Friday night’s game, the Bucs will stay at home to face the University next Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off.