Eagles escape Buffalo Country with a win by a touchdown
Updated: Oct 17
Buffalo sophomore running back Josh Goodwin goes to the air to dodge a tackle during the game with Wellsville. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)
By Roger Sims, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wellsville Eagles escaped Buffalo Country on Friday, Oct. 6, with their perfect 5-0 season intact, but after handing lopsided beatdowns to their four previous opponents this season, they beat Prairie View by a single touchdown, 36-29.
The Eagles demonstrated why their potent passing offense has been so effective. Eagles senior quarterback Willie Dorsey completed 16 of 20 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. The Eagles ran the ball only eight times for a total of 44 yards.
Prairie View had a total 403 yards of offense, including 388 on the ground and 15 in the air.
The game was marred by injuries. In two separate instances, a Wellsville player was carted off the field to an ambulance strapped onto a back board. The ambulance assigned to the game had no sooner returned from delivering the first player to the hospital when it was needed to transport a second.
And a head injury to Buffalo running back Elijah Williams required 12 staples after his helmet was ripped off as he was tackled by Eagle defenders. Buffalo head coach Kyle Littrell said Williams will be sidelined in the game this Friday against Iola, but will return to action in two weeks.
Prairie View did not have a good defensive answer to Wellsville’s passing game. Whenever the Eagles had possession of the ball, they would quickly move down the field to score.
The Buffalos’ answer to that: Don’t let the Eagles get the ball.
Prairie View senior quarterback Gabe Murillo went to the air only once in the game against Wellsville – a 15 yard pass to senior tight end Peyton Doty for a touchdown.
Prairie View received the opening kickoff of the game, and used all but 18 seconds of the entire first quarter to make a slow but consistent march down the field score the game’s first touchdown on a keeper by junior quarterback Gabe Murillo. Senior Peyton Doty converted on the extra point and the Buffalos were up 7-0 going into the second quarter.
It took less than a minute into the second quarter for the Eagles to even the score. A 55-yard pass from Dorsey to wide receiver Kenyon Gillis and a good point-after kick tied the score at 7-7.
The Buffalos struck back fairly quickly. After being hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and pushed back to their own 18 yard line on the kickoff, Murillo scrambled 18 yards for a first and 10 on the Buffalo 37. Sophomore running back Josh Goodson broke away for 7 yards up the middle for a first down on Prairie View’s 44.
The Eagles were fairly effective at containing the explosive power of Buffalo junior running back Parker Schwarz, but not this time. Schwarz found room to run and made it to the Wellsville 6 yard line before being tripped up from behind. From there, it was one play into the end zone for Schwarz. The point-after kick was off the mark, but Prairie View was up 13-7
A face mask penalty called against the Buffalos after the kickoff gave the Eagles the ball in Prairie View territory, and a 36-yard pass play by Wellsville put the Eagles on the Buffalos’ 10 yard line. Three plays later, the Eagles were in the end zone, and a kick through the uprights gave Wellsville at 14-13 lead.
The Eagles defense made a point of covering sophomore running back Parker Schwarz and managed to at least partially contain his explosive rushing.
In a critical possession for Prairie View, the Buffalos took the ball from their own 27 on the kickoff. Seven plays later, including a 32-yard run by Murillo, Prairie View was on the Wellsville 11 with a first in 10. But the Eagles were able to stop the Buffalos at the 3 yard line as the final seconds in the first half ticked down, and Prairie View remained down by a point.
In less than a minute of the second half, Wellsville put 7 more points on the scoreboard after receiving the kickoff. The Eagles kickoff to the Buffalos had Prairie View starting their drive deep in their own territory on the 11 yard line.
The Eagles defense stepped up its game in the second half, and the Buffalos rushing offense ground to a halt at their own 20 on a fourth-and-1 play as Schwarz was stopped at the line of scrimmage.
Drawing a personal foul call on the Buffalos’ last play, the Eagles took possession of the ball on the Prairie View 35. Three plays later, Prairie View recovered a Wellsville fumble on their own 23 yard line.
The Buffalos began a 77-yard drive using 15 plays to reach the Wellsville 15. On fourth down and 7, Murillo hit tight end Peyton Doty on an 8 yard pass for a touchdown. Schwarz carried the ball on the point-after attempt and the score was tied 21-21 with :37 left on the clock on the third quarter.
Josh Goodwin and Peyton Doty converge to bring down the Wellsville quarterback. The Prairie View defense allowed only 44 yards rushing by Wellsville.
The Eagles moved down the field quickly after the kickoff, scoring on a pass, and then passing again for 2 points.
Prairie View’s Jay Muse returned the Eagles kickoff to the Prairie View 37. The Buffalos made it into Wellsville territory but an incomplete pass on a third-and-15 play forced them to punt.
Wellsville again scored quickly, this time on a 36 yard pass. The kick was good, and the Eagle were up 36-21 with just under six minutes remaining in the game.
After receiving the kickoff on their own 36 yard line, Prairie View began a no-huddle drive to the Wellsville 4 yard line. From there, Schwarz took it into the end zone for a touchdown and again for the two-point attempt with 1:09 remaining on the clock.
Wellsville allowed the clock to run out on their next possession and took the win, 36-29.
The Wellsville defense focused much of their attention on Schwarz, holding him to 138 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Murillo picked up 158 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown rushing and another passing to Peyton Doty. Sophomore running back Josh Goodwin was credited with 79 yards on 14 carries, and Williams, a junior, picked up 13 yards on five carries before he was injured
“We physically dominated the game,” said Coach Littrell, adding that his team stuck to an effective game plan by keeping control of the ball. He said that his team let three or four opportunities to score get away, including a pick six, and that made the difference in the game.
He said Wellsville’s Dorsey, a third-year-starter quarterback who is rated in the top five passers in the state in all classes, and several talent receivers were difficult for his team to defend.
The Buffalos travel to Iola on Friday, Oct. 13 for a league matchup. Littrell said that Iola this year is fielding its best team since he began coaching Prairie View seven years ago. He said that Iola’s quarterback, one of several talented quarterbacks in the league, will be that player that his team will need to contain to be successful.