CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A few minutes after Wahama beat Buffalo 41-13 last Friday, neither coach seemed all that convinced that their teams could stage a rematch in the Class A playoffs just one week later.
Bison coach Mike Sawyer, in fact, was almost certain he'd draw another, even long trip for the first round.
"It looks to me like we're going to play Madonna,'' Sawyer said.
White Falcon coach Ed Cromley hadn't even entertained the thought of who his team would meet.
"The first team we play in the playoffs [is next],'' Cromley said, "but we don't know who that will be for a while.''
Turns out that hardly anyone expected Tug Valley to knock off Clay County on Saturday night, which bumped Buffalo down to the No. 14 slot and set up an instant-replay rematch with Wahama in the first round. Kickoff is set for 7:30 Friday at Point Pleasant, since the White Falcons' field is not an approved playoff site.
Each team got a pretty good look at the other last Friday, and Buffalo led twice before Wahama bunched three touchdowns into the final 4:45 of the second quarter to take a 27-13 halftime advantage.
Included in the barrage was an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Wahama's Kane Roush and, a few minutes later, a fumbled kickoff return by the Bison that left the White Falcons with only 31 yards to cover for another score.
Sawyer said there was some give and take in drawing a familiar opponent for the opening round of the state playoffs. The Bison and White Falcons have played each other toward the end of the regular season for the last several years.
"I don't know,'' Sawyer said, mulling the thought. "You'd kind of like to play somebody you don't know, but the way that game went [Friday], you always want a chance to do it again, so that's a part of it, too.
"We played with them, then things started falling apart when they returned the kickoff and we dropped the kickoff. That had a domino effect on us. Against a very good team, you can't make mistakes like that. You have to bring your 'A' game.''
Buffalo surely didn't do that on Friday, losing two fumbles and being whistled for 13 penalties, which cost 119 yards.