NEW WASHINGTON – Grant Loy is the king of the homecoming court, but he may have to share the royalty with his running back Cody Roberts on the football field.
The Buckeye Central Bucks (4-1, 2-1) hosted the Ridgedale Rockets and put on a show for the homecoming crowd during a 55-0 win on Friday night. The Bucks offense was lights out the entire game, but the defense struggled during the first half almost allowing the Rockets to punch one in before the half. The Bucks stiffed them at the one-yard line as time expired.
“The focus was not there in the first half defensively,” coach Jeff Niedermier said. “They came out flat in the first half and we told them that was not them. That is not how they played last week and I told them so. They have to play focused and they have to play to their assignments. They need to be where they are supposed to be or they are going to create creases and problems.”
Niedermier was referring to the huge Northern 10 Conference win at Upper Sandusky last week.
Loy got things going in the first quarter on a walk in 5-yard touchdown run. Roberts then said, “anything you can do, I can do better” and ran one in from ten yards out with just a second to go in the quarter for an early 14-0 lead.
The first half defensive struggles came at the hands of Rockets running back Hunter Boyd. The power back ran for 86 yards in the half and was the main ball carrier on the Rockets near touchdown drive. It was no surprise to Niedermier or Loy that Boyd had a good performance.
“Boyd is a great running back and if you let him have holes he is going to bust one on you,” Niedermier said.
But, the Bucks were able to hold the back to just seven yards in the second half in a resurgent defensive effort.
“They really did a lot better of watching Boyd because he is a very talented running back,” Loy said. “He would create things on his own by starting right then cutting back left. Our defense did a great job of staying heel depth and making the plays they needed to make for us.”
Loy and Roberts combined for five touchdowns including two rushing scores each and a touchdown pass from Loy. Roberts piled up the yardage with 207 yards on just 15 carries. He had just two touches in the second half and one of those carries went for a 20-yard bruising touchdown run.
“The line made a lot of big holes for me and I just went to where they led me. They were huge tonight. Ridgedale is really undersized and our linemen just pushed them out of the way and made creases for me to run through. I give them all of the credit,” Roberts said.
Loy was near perfect on the evening connecting on seven of 10 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. They touchdown score came on a 50-yard strike to Brice Brenneman on the first Bucks play of the second quarter. It was a play Buckeye Central worked on all week long.
“In practice this week, we saw some things that we could do,” Loy said. “Obviously, putting Brice on an island, he is six-foot-two and his 40 time is unreal, was very successful for us and he made a great play on their defense. I threw it a bit inside and he adjusted and made the catch.”
The Bucks made the 55-0 win look easy and it was exactly what they needed after a touch game against Upper Sandusky last week.
“I do not know if any win is easy,” Niedermier said. “All the games scare me and until we get up by 30 on the board, they are still going to scare me. It was important that we came out and stayed focused this week. These seniors have a goal of getting into the playoffs and we are going to keep preparing like we are going to do that.”
“The big win over Upper last week made it very tough to stay focused in practice this week. It was good that we came out and did what we were supposed to do and we got the homecoming crowd into it,” Loy added.
The Buckeye Central offense scored on all eight possessions and never needed a punt. It racked up 492 total yards of offense. Brenneman finished with 88 yards receiving. Nash Ehresman collected 59 yards rushing and scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter.
Athen Moyer had 29 yards rushing and scored the lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a six-yard run.
The Bucks second half defense was dominating. Scott Heydinger collected two interceptions including one he returned 45 yards for a score at the beginning of the second half. The Bucks held Ridgedale to just 162 yards of total offense.
The Bucks are back in a tough match up next week as they visit Carey. The Blue Devils are having a down season so far but the Bucks know they will not be a team to be taken lightly.
Ridgedale (0-5, 0-3) will host Colonel Crawford in Week 6.