By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 2 — The Luray Bulldogs made an early season statement on Friday night in their football home opener against the Bison of Buffalo Gap. What was touted to be a grinding ground game with two evenly matched teams — who had played to single-digit decisions the last two years — turned into a rout that let the rest of the region know that Luray is a true contender.
The Bison held the ball almost the entire first quarter and looked strong on their opening drive, running an unheard of 21 plays covering 86 yards in 11:21 to take a an early 7-0 drive. Senior Jeffrey Hildebrand took it in from 1 yard out.
However, that’s where it ended for the Buffalo Gap offense, as they would not pick up another first down in the first half, and only two more in the game — one as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The Luray defense went into shut down mode after that first drive, and the Bulldog offense took over.
Luray answered the Bison’s first score with a 12-play, 76-yard drive sparked by a 15-yard run by senior Kenny Frye. Junior quarterback Ryder Liscomb took it in from six yards out for the Bulldogs first score midway into the second quarter.
A penalty against the Bison on the PAT moved the ball closer to the goal line and Luray opted for a two-point conversion, ran in by last season’s first team All-Region running back Brady Jenkins to give the Bulldogs the lead at 8-7.
After a Bison three-and-out, Luray needed only four plays to cover 39 yards as Jenkins recorded his first touchdown of the night from 11 yards out to make the score 15-7.
After another three-and-out by Gap, Luray gave up one of its two turnovers during the game as the Bison’s Blake Robertson came up with an interception. However, Buffalo Gap fumbled the ball on its first play — falling right into the hands of Frye who was in full stride to take it 40 yards on a scoop-and-score to break the game open at 22-7 by halftime.
Luray then opened the second half with a seven-play drive covering 70 yards in just three minutes fueled by a 45-yard impressive run by Frye and capped off by a four-yard touchdown plunge from Jenkins. The PAT from the steady foot of sophomore Jakob Choat made it 29-7.
After a Bison punt, the Bulldogs repeated the process — this time going 90 yards on eight plays in just 3:32. Again Frye provided a long run, this time for 28 yards. Jenkins again finished things off, this time with a six-yard reception to make the score 35-7.
The Bison would fumble the ball twice in the fourth quarter, and Luray turned one of those into another touchdown as freshman Cason Bryant went 70 yards on the first play of the possession.
Frye lead Luray’s rushing attack despite only having eight carries. With breakaway runs of 14, 15, 28 and 45 yards — the tough senior running back that shed off tacklers all night unofficially ended the game with 116 yards. However, his only score came on defense.
Jenkins unofficially had 14 carries for 62 yards, with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. Luray produced a total of 324 yards on the ground against the Bison.
With the win, the Bulldogs move to 2-0 after a 48-14 rout of Rock Ridge last week in Ashburn. During that game, Luray put up a ridiculous mark of 514 yards on the ground, compared to a little over 200 against Gap.
Next up, Luray (2-0) will take a week off during an open slot in the schedule to prepare for the county rivalry game with Page on Friday, Sept. 16 on the road.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Player of the Game“.
Frye went 40 yards on a scoop-and score late in the second quarter that broke the game open at 22-7 just before halftime. The tough senior running back also lead the ground game with 107 yards, including four breakaway runs of 14 yards or more.