For the first time this season, the Floyd County High School Football Buffaloes scored first in a game Sept. 10, taking a 6-0 lead over the Grayson County High Blue Devils in an arranged game after Auburn bowed out because it could not field enough players, due to injuries and sickness.
Quarterback Kaleb Fenton scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter but the point-after failed. Grayson came back to tie the game in the second and the Buffs blocked the attempted point-after kick, so the score remained tied through the third and most of the fourth until Fenton hit Rylan Swortzel on a 22-yard pass play with seconds left to play in the game.
In keeping with the tone of the game, a two-point conversion pass failed, and the Buffaloes led 12-6 with 41 seconds remaining in the game. A comeback attempt by the Blue Devils fell short as the Buffaloes intercepted its eighth pass attempt, and Fenton kneeled to run out the clock.
Turnovers, both interceptions and fumbles, stopped several drives by Grayson and solid defense by the Buffs forced two punts and stopped two attempts to advance the fall on fourth downs.
Fenton completed 16 of 25 passes for 196 yards. Kaiden Swortzel had eight catches and 95 yards, and Elijah St. Clair caught two of the eight interceptions thrown by the Blue Devils.
The game-winning touchdown was Tom Brady-style, late in the game with a mix of running and pass plays that took the team down the field until the score.
The two teams’ game was last minute Sept. 10, after Auburn withdrew from a game with the Buffs on the road, and Grayson lost its scheduled opponent to a COVID-19 outbreak. Negotiations resulted in Floyd County hosting another game for the season, instead of hitting the road to Galax.
The win gives the Buffaloes a second-straight win and a 2-1 record going into a homecoming match in Floyd this Friday against Fort Chiswell. While the game begins at 7 p.m. with homecoming at halftime, the festivities kick off at 5:30 p.m. with the dedication of the football field’s new name as Coach Beale Field, honoring longtime head football coach Winfred Beale, who long, successful record makes him the active coach with the most wins in the Old Dominion.
Coaches and former players are invited to be part of the Friday, Sept. 17, festivities.
Next week will be the bye week for the Buffaloes with no games on the schedule.