Bucktail’s offense struggles in loss to Northwest

Northwest visited Dwyer Memorial Field in Farwell on Friday and defeated Bucktail, 42-6. The Bucks had plenty of opportunities to make it a competitive game in the first half.

Whereas the Bucks always come out milking down the play clock to try and keep time of possession in their favor, the Rangers too chose to play a deliberate offense.

Northwest put together a nearly eight-minute long, 72-yard opening drive which saw 5-foot-10, 235-pound back George May convert an easy third-and-1 and eventually power his way into the end zone from 15 yards out.

The next possession was more of the same. This time the methodical drive covered 64 yards before May ran it in from 3 yards out, putting the Rangers up 14-0 early in the second quarter.

The next nine minutes may have been the best the Bucks have played this season.

Quarterback Dylan Cross and back Zach Pick started taking turns running the ball with success as the third possession of the game saw Bucktail stall out on the Northwest 25. But the drive showed plenty of potential.

Chase Biller answered for Northwest, getting the ball deep into Bucktail territory after ripping off a 37-yard dash down the right sideline on a reverse. This time, however, the Bucks would stop the Rangers for the first time, causing a fumble on their own 1.

The Bucks ran out of time on the Northwest 6, but after stopping the Rangers on defense and showing two promising drives, it seemed as though the second half was going to allow the Bucks to get back into the game.

Ranger quarterback Carter Hontz had different plans as he didn’t give his team a chance to play a deliberate pace. Hontz connected from 10 yards out to Chase Biller for a 21-0 lead.

“I don’t know if there is too much speed coming at these guys, but we’re still not doing fundamental things correctly,” said Bucktail coach Jared Hurlbert. “We have a lot of young kids on the team and it just seems that if they have a bad play or we get a bad call they start to hang their heads.”

However it was the next Ranger drive after taking a 21-point lead which showcased the biggest play of the game.

Hontz took a snap and dropped back, allowing the Bucks defensive line to pursue him deep into the backfield before finding Landon Hufford on a middle screen. Hufford took the pass in the middle of the field and dashed untouched 65 yards, taking the air out of the shell-shocked Bucks.

“It’s a tough matchup to begin with, suiting 16 players against a team like Northwest, but when we don’t do things correctly, and us coaches know what they’re capable of because they do it all week in practice, we start to get intimidated a bit,” Hurlbert said.


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