By Steve Keenan
For The Register-Herald
The few hardy souls who stuck it out on the home side for the duration of Fayetteville’s senior night football game were treated to the Pirates’ first win since a 61-0 thumping of Richwood on Sept. 13.
Fayetteville was effective on the ground and through the air in whipping Buffalo 38-14 Friday at Fletcher Arritt Memorial Stadium, halting a four-game losing skid of its own and keeping the Bison winless at 0-8.
“We played in a playoff game every week,” Fayetteville coach Frank Spangler said in referring to a difficult schedule that has kept his team on its toes all season long. “We played four of the Top 10 teams in single-A.
“A win is a win is a win. We’ll take a win any time. The kids played well; they played a lot better tonight, and we’re getting a little more healthy now. I was real proud of our (nine) seniors. They went out (at home) in good fashion.”
The Pirates took control by scoring on their first two possessions — first on a Tasheem Saunders 4-yard run that was set up by a 29-yard burst by Jake Alton and an 18-yard Saunders gain, then on a 28-yard Will Dooley touchdown reception midway through the opening period. Dooley leaped up between two Buffalo defenders and hauled in the scoring aerial on a nicely thrown ball from quarterback Will Fenton.
The Pirates kept up the pressure early in the second quarter when Alton sprinted 30 yards to the end zone on a reverse to make it 22-0.
Buffalo answered that score as Isaiah Robinson caught the ball from Connor Fields on a middle screen and legged it 35 yards to paydirt for a 22-8 deficit.
Before the Bison got a late 50-yard scoring jaunt from Jordan Tucker (19 carries, 114 yards), though, Fayetteville had created more than enough cushion with another Fenton-to-Dooley scoring hook-up (this one covering 9 yards) and a second six-pointer from Saunders on a 3-yard burst.
On the latter scoring drive, Saunders (14-140) ripped off key carries of 19 and 13 yards before ringing up his second TD.
Fayetteville rushed for 359 yards and passed for 89 more on the night.
Fenton was 11-of-15 for 89 yards and the two scores to Dooley.
“We felt like we could run the football,” said Spangler. “We’re pretty decent up on the offensive line.
“We just ran our basic set. Of course, that (rushing success) opened up the passing game some.”
Defensively, he said the Pirates had to alter their scheme somewhat to compensate for Buffalo’s speed on the edges.
Alton rushed for 85 yards and accounted for 45 yards in receiving for the Pirates. Dooley had four catches for 41 yards and two TDs. Reserve back Troy Farrell rushed for 92 yards on seven attempts.
Fayetteville (3-5) seeks an upset as it tangles with Class A No. 7 Greenbrier West at Charmco next Friday.
Buffalo hosts Symmes Valley, Ohio Friday.
— E-mail: skeenan
B (0-8) 0 8 0 6 - 14
F (3-5) 16 14 8 0 - 38
F: Tasheem Saunders 4 run (Will Dooley pass from Will Fenton), 10:11
F. Dooley 28 pass from Fenton (Saunders run), 6:24
F: Jake Alton 30 run (kick failed), 11:51
B: Isaiah Robinson 35 pass from Connor Fields (Caleb Tucker pass from Fields), 9:52
F: Dooley 9 pass from Fenton (Alton pass from Fenton), 6:21
F: Saunders 3 run (Caleb Bailes run), 6:03
B: Jordan Tucker 50 run (pass failed), 4:53
RUSHING - B: J. Tucker 19-114-1, Fields 8-17, Jacob Hanshaw 4-11, Robinson 4-9, C. Tucker 4-6, Drake Fertig 1-2, Hayden Rogers 1-(-7), Team 1-(-2). F: Saunders 14-140-2, Cameron Underwood 4-13, Alton 8-85-1, Bailes 2-10, Troy Farrell 7-92, Dalton Dempsey 4-4, David Gilliam 4-16, Team 1-(-1).
PASSING - B: Fields 4-12-0-55-1, J. Tucker 0-1-0-0-0, Brandon Buntura 1-1-0-15-0. F: Fenton 11-15-0-89-2, Dooley 0-1-1-0-0.
RECEIVING - B: J. Tucker 3-26, Buntura 1-9, Robinson 1-35-1. F: Alton 6-45, Dooley 4-41-2, Saunders 1-3.
TAKEAWAYS - B: Buntura (fum. rec.), Robinson (int.), Rogers (fum. rec.) . F: None.