Buckingham Explodes, Closes Out Rival Cumberland

Buckingham explodes, closes out rival Cumberland

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For video from this game, click here.

It happened about as fast as it can possibly happen.

Without running a single offensive play, Buckingham built a three-touchdown lead en route to a 47-8 victory over Cumberland Friday night in a James River District rivalry clash.

“Our boys prepared well, it was just a matter of executing,” Gill said. “But I’ve never seen that. We scored three times before we had a snap.”

Buckingham jumped out to its 21-0 lead on the strength of three big time plays, starting with Kyree Koonce’s 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening kick. Koonce raced in for the score and Cumberland never recovered as Buckingham’s Devin Smith picked off a pass and raced back for a touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Buckingham forced Cumberland, the Knights' long-time rival, to punt and Koonce capitalized, exploding for a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown to stake the Knights to a 21-0 lead.

“It was real fast, real fast,” Koonce said. “It felt weird, we’ve never had that happen before. It gave everybody a lot of momentum and that was just on our side all night.”

Buckingham never looked back, building a 47-0 lead before the break that led to a running clock for the entirety of the second half. Koonce tacked on a rushing touchdown and Leon Ragland threw a touchdown pass to Austin Seay. Kenneth Johnson also got in on the act with a rushing touchdown while Smith corralled a fumble and took it to the house for his second defensive touchdown of the night. By halftime it was 47-0, setting in motion a running clock for the entire second half.

Koonce and Johnson, along with most of the other starters, took the entire second half off. It was a welcome change after a frustrating loss to Central last week. It should also give the Knights a confidence boost going into a huge clash with Goochland next week that serves as a de facto James River District title game.

“It was good to get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Gill said. “We’ve still got a chance to share the district championship and we’ve got to go to (Goochland) and that’ll be a whale of a game.”

Johnson finished with 83 yards on eight carries while Koonce had 77 yards on seven touches. The Knights didn’t need a lot of offense with four special teams or defensive touchdowns in the mix.

In addition to his touchdown catch, Seay led the Knights in tackles with 6.5 total stops, but it was Justin Ayers that spearheaded relentless quarterback pressure by the Knights and finished with three sacks.

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