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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View derails Burlington Wildcats, 44-19

Updated: Oct 18

Prairie View sophomore running back Josh Goodwin holds off a Burlington defender. Goodwin had 81 yards of rushing on Friday. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

By Roger Sims, Journal staff

Sticking to a ground game on offense and stepping up a smothering defense helped the Prairie View Buffalos derail the Burlington Wildcats 44-19 on Friday, Sept. 22.

Coming off a 55-0 blow-out win over the Osawatomie Trojans a week before, the Buffalos came into the game against the Pioneer League opponent Wildcats with the same kind of pressure.

Burlington was blanked by the Wellsville Eagles 56-0 the week before the Prairie View match-up, however, the Wildcats overpowered the Santa Fe Trail Chargers 50-44 early in the season. Prairie View lost to Santa Fe Trail 28-22 in the team’s second home game of the season that saw the Buffalos unable to tie or win the game despite being deep in Charger territory in the final minute of the game.

With senior quarterback Gabe Murillo at the helm, the Buffalos relied on sophomore running backs Parker Schwarz and Josh Goodwin and junior back Elijah Williams to advance the ball. Murillo also ran the ball, picking up 47 yards rushing on 10 carries with one touchdown.

Burlington punted the ball away on their opening drive, and the Buffalos scored their first touchdown on a 51-yard run by Schwarz about eight minutes into the first quarter on a three-play drive from their own 30 yard line. The pass for the extra points was incomplete, and Prairie View was up 6-0.

With about a minute to go in the first quarter, Schwarz took a handoff up the middle and with his explosive speed turned it into a 78-yard touchdown run. A pass from Murillo to Goodwin for the point-after attempt was good, and the Buffalos were up 14-0.

There was still enough time on the clock for Wildcat senior quarterback Hunter Reiling to scamper 39 yards for a touchdown.

Prairie View senior Jacob Mills returns a Burlington punt.

The Buffalos answered early in the second quarter with Goodwin breaking four tackles on a run into the end zone from the Burlington 9-yard line. The point-after try was no good, and the Buffalos were up 20-6.

In the second half the Buffalos scored early on a 47 yard carry by Schwarz followed by a dive by Murillo into the end zone for an extra 2 points. Buffalo were up 28-12.

On their next possession, Burlington turned over the ball on downs on their own 23, and Prairie View used Murillo and the three running backs to claw their way to the Burlington 1 on seven plays. Murillo punched into the end zone for the score and followed suit on the point-after try, putting the Buffalos up 36-12.

The Buffalo put a third touchdown on the scoreboard during the third quarter after the defense sacked the Wildcat quarterback on a fourth-and-2 on the 50 yard line. Schwarz again took a pitchout from the quarterback for a 35-yard touchdown run down the sideline followed by Murillo rushing for the two extra points and a 44-12 score.

Burlington managed to score in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run for a 44-19 final score.

The Buffalos posted 402 total yards, all of them rushing, for the game. Burlington had 239 yards total offense with 142 yards rushing and 97 yards in the air.

Buffalo senior quarterback Gabe Murillo, center, hands off to junior running back Parker Schwarz. Schwarz rushed for 237 yards during the game against Burlington.

Schwarz rushed for 237 yards on 11 carries, with an average of 21.5 yards per carry, and four touchdowns. Goodwin gained 81 yards on the ground with an average 5.8 yards per carry in 14 attempts and scored one touchdown.

Murillo carried the ball 10 times for a total of 47 yards and one touchdown.

Goodwin was credited with 6.5 tackles, assisting on a sack and forcing a fumble. Schwarz had five tackles and recovered a fumble. And Jarrett Williams, who was crowned Homecoming king before the game, contributed 3.5 tackles and an assist on a sack.

Buffalo head coach Kyle LIttrell said that, going into the game, his team had two objectives: trap Wildcat quarterback Reiling in the pocket and contain wide receiver Brody Anderson.

Buffalo senior linebacker Peyton Doty (No. 8) breaks through the 'Cat line in pursuit of quarterback Hunter Reiling.

Much of the Wildcat offense came when their receivers were covered and Reiling was forced to scramble.

Littrell said that before the game he challenged his players to use their speed advantage, and they did on both sides of the ball.

Littrell also gave credit to senior Peyton Doty for his leadership role on the team. Doty, who plays at tight end and linebacker posts, tends to be overshadowed by players who touch the football more, but his role in the team this year has been critical.

“He has stepped up as a leader,” the coach said, adding that Doty has grown tremendously since he was a freshman. “He’s got a good heart, and he wants to do it right.”

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