Akron Buchtel 36 - Hoover 16
September 4, 2004
Buchtel marches forward
David Lee Morgan Jr., Akron Beacon Journal
For the second consecutive week, the Buchtel Griffins can feel proud about their performance.
They can feel proud that after defeating North Canton 36-16 Friday night at North Canton Memorial Stadium, they are 2-0. They can feel proud that this win was just like last week’s victory — a team effort.
As Buchtel coach Claude Brown said from the start of preseason camp, this team is special.
“I’ve said this all along, we don’t have any superstars,” Brown said. “We just have kids who play hard and understand the team concept.”
Brian Williams, a University of Pittsburgh recruit, rushed for a game-high 120 yards on 18 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns, including a 61-yard score with 2:29 left.
“It’s hard to explain but we’re a very close team and we’ve been this way since our freshman year,” Williams said. “It’s all about love.”
Buchtel’s offensive line of Cyrus Kersey, Carlos Parish, Eric Murray, Curron Curry, Quakeem Head and Teddy Jones opened huge holes for Williams, Dion Gibbons, Kris King and Justin McCraney as the Griffins racked up 256 yards on the ground.
And backup quarterback Rayshon Dent, giving two-way starter Dorell Knight a rest, played well in his extended minutes.
“I think (Buchtel) wore us down,” North Canton coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “Claude is doing a nice job with his team this year.”
One series in the first quarter seemed to give Buchtel the momentum it needed to take control of the game.
North Canton (0-2) took a 7-0 lead with 6:51 left in the opening quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Jason Foote.
Instead of letting the Vikings gain momentum after the score, Buchtel answered with a 55-yard drive that ended on Williams’ 1-yard run with 5:12 remaining in the first quarter.
Williams’ score was the first of three unanswered touchdowns for the Griffins in the half.
The Griffins took a 14-7 lead with 7:31 left in the first half on a 3-yard run by Williams and led 22-7 when Knight hit Cameron Jackson for a 5-yard touchdown with 1:59 before halftime for a 22-7 lead.
“It showed a lot of character on our part to come right back and tie the score,” Brown said. “That first touchdown really got us going and we started to move the ball very effectively.”
North Canton scored less than a minute before halftime when Foote hit Pope for a 44-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 22-13 at halftime.
The Griffins gave up a 25-yard field goal by Andrew Dahl in the third quarter for the Vikings’ only second-half points.
North Canton got to within 22-16 in the fourth quarter but couldn’t convert on a fourth-down play.
In defeat, Foote, Pope, running back Jordan Jeffords and backup quarterback Sean Kostelnik played admirably.
“We had some guys who played hard, but we needed to play harder,” Hertler said. “We’re making way too many mistakes. But we took a step forward.”