BUFFALO, W.Va. -- Still trying to get into the win column, Buffalo put together a good effort but fell short, losing to Symmes Valley (Ohio) 50-28 on a mild Friday night at Bison Field.
The youthful Bison (0-9) squeezed as much offense as it could out of tailback Jordan Tucker before slipping too far behind in the third quarter to a Symmes Valley team that has also been devastated by injuries and having to play younger players.
"We had the numbers on offense, but we can't stop anybody on defense," said Bison coach Mike Sawyer. "When we learn to do that, we'll have a pretty good chance to be in a game. We can't get any continuity going because of youth and injuries."
The Bison were led by Tucker's 25 carries for 202 yards and three TDs.
Buffalo began the game with a 54-yard drive, capped by a Tucker 9-yard touchdown run for an early 8-0 lead.
The Vikings used a bevy of backs to answer with their own 61-yard drive, highlighted by Brandon Craft's 39-yard scamper into the end zone.
Both teams continued trading scores, with the Bison's Tucker running the ball nearly exclusively for a total of 156 yards on 16 carries by halftime.
Midway through the second quarter, it appeared Symmes Valley would pull away but an unsportsmanlike penalty during a Tanner Mays TD dash forced the Vikings to kick from their own 25-yard line. After a long return by Tucker, the Bison began its scoring drive deep in Viking territory, ultimately getting in on another Tucker 1-yard plunge to pull within 28-22 just before the half.
The Vikings grinded it out in the second half, controlling the ball for long periods and scoring on two more 1-yard runs by Tyler Rowe and Dustin Holbrook.
Symmes Valley (6-4), playing its last game of the season, hopes to make the Ohio playoffs.
"We came into this game basically in the same shape as Buffalo," said Symmes Valley coach Rusty Webb. "We lost five starters in the first two weeks and have had to play a young bunch all season, too. The difference in the game was that where we are down to playing almost all sophomores, Coach Sawyer is down to playing all freshmen. But I'll tell you this, they were the fastest team we've played all season and we had to make a lot of adjustments."
For the Vikings, Rowe finished the night carrying 13 times for 160 yards. Craft contributed another 135 yards on nine totes.