BUFFALO, W.Va. -- Having handed Greenbrier West its only loss during the regular season in 2012, Buffalo ran up against a much stronger Cavalier team this time around and could not repeat the win, falling 53-12 on a muggy Friday night at Bison Field.
Greenbrier West (4-0) showed why it's No. 1 in the initial Class A playoff rankings by showcasing a powerhouse offensive running game, led by senior quarterback Malik Boatwright and senior tailback Corey Cox, who combined for 296 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
"We've got a pretty good offensive team and they were pretty young on the line and didn't have a whole lot of size, but we've got to clean up our offensive play and quit turning the ball over. We still have a few things we can work on," said West coach Lewis McClung.
For the Cavaliers, Boatwright ran for 181 yards on 11 carries, while Cox added another 115 yards on 16 totes.
Buffalo (0-4), still struggling with weekly injuries, continues to compete with a young lineup, but simply was outmanned and didn't have the power to control an aggressive Cavalier defensive and offensive front line.
"The ball bounced our way there a few times early. We had a good stop on that first drive but our kids got tired,'' said Bison coach Mike Sawyer. "They're so young and still don't quite get it yet. We try to stress in practice that they have to get out there and learn. We just keep losing people and have to keep putting younger people in there. That gets tough when they are so used to winning in the past."
The Cavaliers, a playoff quarterfinalist last season who lost to eventual state champion Wahama, held the ball for two long drives in the first quarter, coming away with no points as they stalled in the Bison red zone.
Both teams turned on the big plays in the second quarter. On the first play, Cavalier senior fullback Chase McClung fumbled after a 14-yard run to the 10-yard line that junior Bison safety Jordan Tucker picked up and tight-roped down the sideline for a 90-yard touchdown, giving the Bison an early 6-0 lead.
After two short touchdown runs of 8 and 5 yards by West's Cox, Buffalo's Tucker returned the kickoff 82 yards to pull the Bison within one at 13-12.
"We've still got plenty of areas we can still get better at, too. Especially on special teams. We can't be giving up long runs like that," said Lewis McClung.
However, from that point it was all West as it pounded out two more touchdown runs of 4 yards by senior running back Logan Brown and 60 yards by Boatwright.
The Cavaliers, coming into the game having given up only seven points in their first three games this season, held the Bison to 18 total yards and allowed Tucker, the Bison junior running back, to only 3 yards on nine carries. Jordan gained 323 yards on Class AA Poca last Friday night.