SWOOPE- Just finished reading Jim Sacco's (and Derek McDaniel's) take on the 2008-2009 Buffalo Gap football team over at Jim's site [daily pooch punt] and I have to admit the feature made me smile.
One of the highlights of my time in the Valley has to be getting to call the Buffalo Gap State Championship Game last fall on ESPN-1240. Chip Crabill was busy coaching his Fishburne Military Academy Basketball team so the man doing the Play By Play was Craig Orndorff. Craig and I teamed up to bring the game to what I am guessing was the couple hundred people still back at Gap.
Why the small number of people at home ? I think the rest of the town made the trip down to Salem, Va. for the Bison's big win. It was a great day - maybe a once in a generation game. Gap finished 14-0 and they have the rings to show it. We knew that Coach Maxwell would have a solid team in 2008-2009 but no one knew just how good, until now that is.
Gap made it 2-0 in the Shenandoah District and 7-0 overall Friday night when the defeated Coach McDaniel and his Green Hornets 35-9. The remaining schedule has Gap hosting Stonewall (10/24), hosting Riverheads (10/31) and traveling to Bulldog Field for a season ending contest vs. Luray. The Bison have three steps remaining to once again go 10-0 during the regular season.
Friday night was a classic example of just how good this years squad is. Michael Johnson (5'10 WR/DB) came oh so close from scoring a touchdown four different ways. Let us take a look at the speedy Senior and his HUGE night:
5:37 remaining 1ST Quarter - Johnson touches the ball for the first time and sweeps left UN-touched on his way to a 7 yard TD run (Johnson only had 2 carries)
5:22 remaining 1ST Quarter- Yes 0:15 seconds later - DB Johnson intercepts a Green Hornets pass and returns it 25 yards for a defensive TD
10:30 remaining 2ND Quarter - Johnson returns a punt 47 yards, down to the WM 6 yard line. 6 yards away from the 3RD of the 5 scores you can make.
Pass for a TD
Receive for a TD
Kick Return for a TD
Run for a TD
11:48 remaining in the 4TH Quarter - WR Johnson catches a pass from QB Ryan Sheridan and flies 78 yards down the side line for another Gap TD (1 of 2 catches for the game)
By my count Johnson had his hands on the ball 6 times and managed to get to the End Zone three times and just missed a fourth. Jim was kind enough to mention my nick name for Johnson and his fellow Senior Pickle Nuckols (Thunder and Lightning) so I want to return the favor and give Sacco credit for his description of graduated QB Travis Morris but you will have to head over and read his article- pretty good stuff.
By the way, Nuckols followed up his effort against Page County (25 carries - 285 yards) with another solid effort against Wilson. My numbers had Pickle at 173 yards on 19 carries (9.1 Avg) , giving him a 2-game District total of 458 yards on 34 carries (13.4 Avg).
I want to date myself a bit my saying I think the original Thunder and Lightning were running backs on the New Orleans Saints a while back. Anyone else out there old enough to remember Chuck Muncie and Tony Galbreath?
These two young men are pretty amazing and if you get the chance to watch them, they are worth the price of admission! Good enough for a return trip down to Salem? I can only hope so...
*** Galbreath (2ND Round) and Muncie (1ST Round) were both drafted in 1976 by the New Orleans Saints and played together until 1979 when both were traded. Muncie left after 1979 and Galbreath left after 1980