Bucktail finishes regular season at 4-6 after 35-8 loss

Bucktail junior running back Tanner Riggle (33) broke loose for a fifteen-yard gain late in the third quarter during last night’s game. (The Express/Kevin Rauch)

FARWELL – As the Bucktail football season has proven to been magical at times, the Montgomery Red Raiders brought their own redemption story into Farwell last night as they too are on the rise from a season ago.

The Red Raiders won just two games last year while coming to Bucktail last night with a 4-5 mark this season and posing as a likely opponent against the Bucks again next week in the postseason.

Unfortunately for the home team last night, Montgomery brought with them their team speed – and there was plenty of it.

The Red Raiders would score touchdowns on five of their first six possessions, going up 35-0 early in the third quarter. The score is a little misleading on how the Bucktail defense played, which overall was solid, but big plays proved too much for the Bucks on both sides of the ball – particularly early in the second half.

The Bucks bent but didn’t break in the first half as Montgomery rolled to a 21-0 lead. Late in the second quarter and looking to put the game out of reach, Red Raider quarterback Braydon Strouse hooked up with Tyler Shadle for a 57-yard pass down to the Bucktail three-yard line.

With two minutes left and Montgomery driving to score late, Liam Dwyer picked off a Strouse throw giving the Bucks their first defensive stop of the night.

Despite the Dwyer stop, Montgomery used a pair of plays to put the game away in the opening minutes of the second half.

Running back Hunter Budman took the first offensive play of the second half 55 yards into the end-zone as the Red Raiders went up 28-0.

Two plays later, Tyler Shadle picked off a Richard Perry toss and sprinted 53 yards down to the Bucktail three-yard line, setting up a Nick Pryor touchdown run moving the score 35-0 just two minutes into the second half.

The score held before the Bucks got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Perry would engineer a 73-yard drive ending when he found Logan Long for a 35 yard touchdown pass with three seconds left in the game. A Kenny Winkelman run would set the 35-8 final score.

Coach Bruce Ransom appreciated the effort of his players literally down to the final seconds.

“We didn’t quit and that has defined our season, we went into our two minute drill, used our time outs well and ended the game on a positive note,” said Ransom following the game. “We’re probably playing them again next week, we’ll spend the next week of practice looking to improve on how we played tonight”.

“Our defense played decent at times tonight but you cannot defeat speed, it’s eventually going to get you,” Ransom said of Montgomery. “When they have a 1,000 yard back like Hunter Budman who can score as easily from the 50 as he can from the 20, you can make the right plays nine out of ten times but that one can get you in a hurry”.

The thought coming into tonight’s game was the winner would host a rematch next week in the District 4 Playoffs. Although not official yet, it’s expected that the 5-5 Red Raiders will host the 4-6 Bucks.

Montgomery 7 14 14 0 – 35

Bucktail 0 0 0 8 – 8

1st- Ethan Marino 5 yard TD run. Rhyle Strausbaugh kick, 7-0: 4:06

2nd-Hunter Budman 18 yard TD run. Strausbaugh kick, 14-0: 11:14

2nd-Budman 1 yard TD run. Strausbaugh kick, 21-0: 6:36

3rd- Budman 55 yard TD run. Strausbaugh kick, 28-0: 11:45

3rd- Nick Pryor 10 yard TD run. Strausbaugh kick, 35-0: 9:59

4th- Richard Perry 35 yard TD pass to Logan Long. Kenny Winkelman run, 35-8: 0:03