BERRYVILLE — When Clarke County last hosted Buffalo Gap in a Class 2B playoff game in November, the Eagles spent all afternoon chasing Bison running back Carter Rivenburg, who rushed for 393 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-0 win.
This time, it was the other way around.
Clarke County’s Peyton Rutherford rushed for a pair of touchdowns and quarterback Colby Childs tossed a touchdown pass to Danny Lyman and added a short rushing touchdown in a dominating first half that led to a 42-0 triumph at Wilbur M. Feltner Stadium on Friday.
The romp ruined Brad Wygant’s debut as Buffalo Gap coach.
The Bison defense could not stop Clarke County in the opening 24 minutes as the Eagles took control with four consecutive scoring drives in building a 28-0 lead. They’d also score on both of their second half possessions, going 6-for-6 on the night.
“It was a perfect night for us,” Clarke County coach Chris Parker said. “I knew we’d be fired up, and the kids were ready to go, but you never know with opening night. I was happy with what we did on offense. We were pretty balanced and played hard. Defensively, we made big plays and stops when we had to.
“We knew those guys were tough and not going to give up,” he added on the Bison. “I thought we had a great chance to win, but, to be honest, I wasn’t sure about that kind of score. … It was a great way to open our season.”
Rutherford, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior got the scoring started on the Eagles’ initial drive. After converting a two previous third downs on the 61-yard march, the Eagles faced a third-and-4 at the Bison 28. Rutherford powered up the middle, broke a tackle and rumbled 28 yards for the score to make it 7-0 with 6:54 left in the first quarter.
Buffalo Gap had a first down in its initial drive, converting on Seth Fitzgerald’s two-yard carry on fourth-and-1 at its 40. But the Eagles forced a punt and followed with a 71-yard march.
On second down from the Buffalo Gap 46, Childs rolled left and found Lyman open over the middle. Lyman shucked a tackle then outraced the Buffalo Gap secondary down the left sideline for the 46-yard score to make it 14-0 with just under a minute left in the first quarter.
A three-yard punt that was partially blocked led to a short 53-yard drive on the Eagles’ next TD drive. Rutherford had two carries for 30 yards in the march as Child capped it with a three-yard run to make it 21-0 with 7:24 left in the quarter.
Lyman’s 30-yard run and 35-yard reception to the 8 set up Rutherford, who swept right and pushed several tacklers back into the end zone to make it 28-0 with 1:20 left in the half.
Behind workhorse Tucker Kiracofe, Buffalo Gap started the second half with an excellent drive. Kiracofe had seven carries for 43 yards as the Bison started at their 20 and drove to the Clarke County 23.
The drive stalled and facing a fourth-and-5, Kiracofe was sacked on a pass attempt by Grayson Aylestock for an eight-yard loss.
Rutherford ran 21 yards on the Eagles’ first play of the half to start their fifth consecutive scoring drive. Childs capped that march with a six-yard TD run as the Eagles pushed the lead to 35-0 and started the running clock with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
Clarke County’s Luke Leso capped the scoring with a six-yard TD run with 1:27 left.
Kiracofe finished with 73 yards on 20 carries to lead the Bison.
Rutherford had 18 carries for 167 yards, while Childs was 3-for-3 for 91 yards.