Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Prairie View quarterback Damien Kline rolls to the left looking for an open receiver. He would end up keeping the ball and picking up yardage on the ground. (Photos by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)
Recovering from their second loss of the season in an away game at Frontenac, the Prairie View Buffalos regained their mojo on Friday, using a powerful rushing offense and stingy defense to beat the Anderson County Bulldogs, 35-7.
Following a Bulldog three-and-out following the kickoff, the Buffalos took possession of the ball on their own 19 following an Anderson County punt. They marched quickly downfield, using a 7-yard run by quarterback Damien Kline and 5-yard rush by Bodi Isenhower to make the Bulldog red zone.
A 17-yard rush by Isenhower and a point-after kick by Kline and the Buffaloes were on the scoreboard, 7-0.
A second drive by the Bulldogs stalled on their own 48, but an interception by the Bulldogs next drive gave them possession on their own 30-yard line. Beginning a 70-yard drive, Anderson County moved down the field to the Prairie View 17, and on a keeper quarterback Dallas Kueser rushed 17 yards for a touchdown.
Buffalo running back Bodi Isenhower turns on the power to outrun the big men on the Anderson County line. He ran for two touchdowns during the game.
The point-after attempt was good and the teams were tied, 7-7, early in the second quarter.
From that point on, the game belonged to the Buffalos. Beginning at their own 20, Prairie advanced ball quickly down the field, including a 44-yard run by Zach Nordgren to the Bulldog 31. Another 29-yard play by Nordgren and the ball was on 2, and moments later he carried it across the goal line. An extra-point kick by Klein was good, and Prairie View was up 14-7.
A drive by Anderson County stalled out midfield, and the Buffalos ran the punt to the 28. The Bulldog defense dug in and forced a fourth-and-one on the Prairie View 37. Klein made the conversion on a 6-yard scramble, setting up a 48-yard rushing play by Zach Theis to the 7-yard line. Klein carried for a 7-yard touchdown run, kick the extra point, and the Buffalos led 21-7 at the end of the first half.
A Buffalo drive late in the third quarter steadily marched the ball down the field to the red zone. The Bulldogs denied several rushing attempts inside the 10, but with fourth and goal on the 1-yard line, Prairie View made a touchdown. With the extra point, the Buffalos increased their lead, 28-7.
Another Prairie View drive in the fourth quarter ate up the clock, but gave the Buffalo another seven points. Up 35-7, the Buffalos gave up only 12 yards on six plays by Anderson County before Klein intercepted a pass for a first and 10 on the Buffalo 20-yard line. The Bulldogs stopped he Prairie View drive but could not score before the clock ran out
Prairie View had 334 yards rushing and 74 yards in the air for a total of 408 yards in the game. Anderson County had 144 yards rushing and 90 yards passing for 234 total yards.
Anderson County running back Fisher Galey is stopped for a short gain by Gage Pugh (No. 35) and Zach Theis, who is under Galey. The Prairie View defense held the Bulldog offense to 144 yards rushing.
Buffalo head coach Kyle Littrell said that Anderson County is better than its 1-7 record would indicate. With the Bulldogs’ good size and an offense that executed well, he felt fortunate that his team won by that margin.
The Buffalos advance in the 3A playoff bracket to face Parsons for a second time this year. Both schools have 6-2 records, however, the Buffalos handed the Vikings a 38-14 loss at home in September. This time they will be on Parsons turf, and their No. 1 tailback is back in play.
“They’re a team that’s progressively gotten better,” Littrell said. “They are a very well-coached team that is more balanced after adding more rushing to their offense.”
The winner of this Friday’s game could face Girard, which boasts an 8-0 record and beat Prairie View earlier in the season. But like any coach this time of year, Littrell’s goal is to survive and advance all the way to the title game.
He wants his team to win every playoff game to the championship – something, he said, that’s never been done.
Buffalo running back Zach Nordgren pivots to avoid a tackle by Bulldog Hasten Wright. Nordgren contributed significantly to Prairie View's rushing game.