Bucktail Bucks get 28-12 home win versus CMVT
By BRETT R. CROSSLEY
For The Express
FARWELL-Bucktail’s offense sputtered to a dismal opening half that saw it punt once, turn the ball over on downs and commit two turnovers.
CMVT was quick to capitalize as it took a lead into the halftime break. It all chanced on a second-and-eight in the third quarter when Dylan Cross hit Robert Devaul for a 70-yard pitch-and-catch that gave the Bucks their first points of the game. The rest was history for the home team as it scored on its next three possessions to upend CMVT for a 28-12 win over the Rams.
Bucktail will hit the road next Friday to closeout the season against Montgomery, while CMVT, still viable for a possible postseason spot, will take on Warrior Run at home next week.
Bucktail’s second half charge was led by Conner Mason, who rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries. He also scored three times for the Bucks, who avenged a 20-8 loss during the second week of the second with the win.
“He’s a good running back,” Bucktail coach Jared Hurlbert said. “I’m sure he was well over 100 yards. Some things were able to open up for Conner and he’s a fast running back.”
The sophomore running back carried the ball 23 times in the second half after Bucktail moved Gage Sutliff to fullback. Sutliff, who was keyed on by the Rams defense, carried the ball 15 times for 41 yards, but became more of a blocker in the second half as Mason took over from the backfield.
Mason carried the ball three consecutive times before Cross found Devaul for the game-changing, 70-yard touchdown pass.
“It definitely changed the mood of the game,” Mason said. “It was great. It was definitely a game-changer for us. It was a great play. You love to have that stuff happen. It was very important tonight.”
Mason carried the ball four of six plays on the Bucks’ second drive of the third quarter. He finished it off with a 26-yard run to give Bucktail its first lead of the game.
Bucktail’s next possession took it into the fourth quarter as the offense ripped off a 12-play drive that covered 73 yards. Mason carried the ball 11 of the 12 plays and capped the drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown.
“Everybody played unselfish football,” Hurlbert said. “It was a great team win. We just had to clean up some blocking. It was no surprise that everybody keys on Gage. When we moved him and they weren’t able to do that things opened up for Conner.”
The Bucks forced two turnovers and a turnover on downs on CMVT’s final three possessions to ice the game. A fumble helped give Mason his third rushing touchdown of the game. Devaul intercepted a tipped pass with three minutes left to finish off the Rams.
“They just got some momentum off that long pass,” CMVT coach Mark Varner said. “We just weren’t maintaining our gap integrity. The gaps we were filling in the first half we weren’t filling in the second half. It only takes you being a half step short and that’s the big difference.”
CMVT scored on its opening possession when Caleb Dawson took a QB sneak through the line for a 10-yard touchdown. The Rams then recovered a fumble and got an interception, but couldn’t do anything with the takeaways.
The Rams scored before the end of the half with a long drive that saw them cover 79 yards on 20 plays. The drive was extended by a pass interference call and finished off by Mekhi Mundrick, who posted 78 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
Bucktail 28, CMVT 12
CMVT 6 6 0 0-12
BUCK 0 0 14 14-28
CMVT-Caleb Dawson 10 run (2-point failed) 9:15
CMVT-Mekhi Mundrick 7 run (2-point failed), 2:48
BUCK-Dylan Cross 70 pass to Robert Devaul (2-point conversion) 10:25
BUCK-Conner Mason 26 run (2-point conversion) 6:35
BUCK-Conner Mason 4 run (2-point failed) 9:29
BUCK-Conner Mason 20 run (2-point conversion) 8:18
Team statistics CMVT BUCK
First downs 10 13
Rushes/yards 33-148 46-219
Passing (completions/attempts/INTs) 2-10-2 5-6-0
Passing yards 14 79
Penalties/yards 8-70 7-49
Fumbles/lost 2-1 2-1
Rushing: CMVT-Mekhi Mundrick 19-78 TD; Caleb Dawson 3-24 TD; Seth Shoemaker 11-56. Bucktail-Dylan Cross 5-43; Gage Sutliff 5-41; Conner Mason 25-141 3 TDs; Devin Serafini 1 (-6).
Passing: CMVT-Caleb Dawson 1-6 0 2 INTs; Mekhi Mundrick 1-4 14 yards. Bucktail-Dylan Cross 5-6 79 yards TD.
Receiving: CMVT-Mekhi Mundrick 1-0; Caleb Dawson 1-14. Bucktail-Liam Dwyer 2-21; Zack Pick 3-3; Robert Devaul 1-70 TD.
Interceptions: CMVT-none. Bucktail-Dylan Cross; Robert Devaul.
Records: CMVT 3-6. Bucktail 3-6.
Next: Warrior Run at CMVT Bucktail, Friday, 7 p.m. Bucktail at Montgomery, Friday, 7 p.m.