By GARY DOVE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The River View Raiders set the tone for the evening on the Buffalo Bison’s first possession last evening at the Ravine in a 54-16 win for the hosts.
On only the third snap of the game, Buffalo fumbled the football and senior Chris Mullins scooped the pigskin off the green, green grass and raced 36 yards for the contest’s initial score.
Senior quarterback Ryan Blankenship ran the conversion and River View led 8-0 only 38 seconds into the encounter.
That theme continued throughout, as six of the eight Raider scores came after takeaways from their guests. Three more came after another three fumble recoveries and two more were registered after pass thefts.
Junior speedster Jordan Wilson celebrated his birthday by rushing for 152 yards on only 11 attempts, while finding the endzone three times. He ran the football only twice in the second half.
With 5:35 showing in the initial quarter, the young Bison tied the score at 8 on a sophomore Ty Smith 54 yard TD strike to junior Jordan Tucker. The two point conversion was chalked up on a Tucker run around right end.
Related Buffalo head coach Mike Sawyer, “This is probably the toughest schedule we’ve played in a long time.”
Addressing numerous injuries to his upperclassmen, “We lost probably our top returning player in seven-on-seven play in June and it just seems to get worse…Down the road, things look bright, but now, we’re struggling with younger players.”
Blankenship gave his club the lead for keeps at the 3:08 mark of the first on a 4 yard scamper on the answering Raider drive.
Late in the inaugural chapter, Mullins recovered another fumble, at the Buffalo 43.
Wilson reeled off a 20 yard touchdown run only 9 seconds into the second quarter.
On the next Bison series, View senior L. T. Horne recovered the pigskin at the Buffalo 32 and Wilson found the endzone on the first play after the recovery, only 21 ticks after his first six pointer.
Mullins had a hand in the next turnover, hitting the Bison QB just as he released a pass that senior Dee Duff hijacked to set the stage for a Blankenship 3 yard TD at the 7:02 mark.
Blankenship passed to Duff for the extra points and a 34-8 halftime lead, as the River View subs started their parade into the game.
Freshman Raider signalcaller Mike Price tossed his first scoring aerial on the second play of the third, hitting Joseph McClanahan with a 24 yard strike, before tacking on the extra points on a pass to Duff.
Horne again corralled a loose pigskin on the ensuing kickoff before Wilson finished his night with a 23 yard TD run to extend the advantage to 48-8.
Smith added a 5 yard rushing TD at the 2:14 mark of the third and Drake Fertig ran for the conversion before senior Zach VanThyne closed out the scoring with 2:25 remaining in the contest on a 6 yard run.
Related River View head coach Gehrig Justice, “We knew they (Bison) ran misdirection, which is hard to simulate in practice.
“We made some (defensive) adjustments…Chris Mullins (has) had two tremendous games.”
Buffalo, now 0-2, returns home to host Poca next Friday, while the now 2-0 Raiders are open before traveling to Man in two weeks.
Buffalo.................................. 8 0 8 0 — 16
River View...........................14 28 6 6 — 54
RV: Chris Mullins 36 yd fumble recovery return (Ryan Blankenship PAT run) 11:22
B: Jordan Tucker 54 yd pass from Ty Smith (Tucker PAT run) 5:35
RV: Blankenship 4 yd run (PAT pass failed) 3:08
RV: Jordan Wilson 20 yd run (PAT run failed) 11:51
RV: Wilson 32 yd run (PAT pass failed) 11:30
RV: Blankenship 3 yd run (Dee Duff PAT pass from Blankenship) 7:02
RV: Joseph McClanahan 24 yd pass from Mike Price (Duff PAT pass from Price) 11:24
RV: Wilson 23 yd run (PAT run failed) 11:11
B: Smith 5 yd run (Drake Fertig PAT run) 2:14
RV: Zach VanThyne 6 yd run (PAT run failed) 2:25