RENOVO, Pa. – A slow start and loss of several key starters due to Covid were more than Sheffield could overcome as the Wolverines dropped their season opener at Bucktail, 42-12, on Friday.
“Give all the credit to the kids,” said Sheffield Head Coach Mike Barr of his team getting a 9:30 a.m. phone call that several starters would be out for Friday night’s game. “They adapted well. There wasn’t selfishness. They adapted and said, we want to win. We want to play a football game.”
The Bucks jumped out to an early lead, putting up 26 on the Wolverines, before Colby Barr took things into his own hands, putting together a solid drive that ended with the sophomore quarterback pounding in the one-yard score.
“It’s that football game speed,” said Barr. “We haven’t seen a team like this that we could possibly match up with, and I think there’s that apprehensiveness that it’s gonna be like every other football game. I think once they shook the jitters and the nerves, there was a different attitude with these guys.”
The Wolverines gave up two huge plays in the third, both to Braylon Fantaski. Fantaski, the Bucks’ junior quarterback, wanted to show off his wheels, taking a keeper 61-yards to the house to give Bucktail a 34-6 lead in the early third quarter. Fantaski would do it again five minutes later, this time on defense, picking off Barr and returning the interception 90-yards for the score.
Sheffield’s lone second-half score came from Jeremiah Richardson who was able to rack up 91 yards in the game off of 15 carries.
“We’re talking about a kid that doesn’t have very much organized football in his life,” said Barr of Richardson. “He soaks it up like a sponge. He would be my sponge. I like the combination of him, Gage (Mott-Macalush), and Chase Kyler in that backfield. I told him, for his hard work, we were gonna try to get him in the endzone, and that was our goal right there at the end.”
Despite the loss, Barr feels the team took another step forward and is building on the team’s foundation going forward. Barr, who had to jump over to calling offensive plays due to the offensive play caller also being out with Covid, is anticipating the team’s next match-up with Bucktail on Wolverine Mountain. In the meantime, the second-year head coach says he is going to focus on tackling, tackling, and more tackling.
Bucktail 20 6 16 0 — 42
Sheffield 0 6 0 6 — 12
B—Brody Pentz 24 run, (conversion failed), 8::39.
B—Brett Mason 36 run (Braylon Fantaski run), 4:03.
B—Pentz 25 pass from Fantaski, (conversion failed), 1:23.
B—Tanner Pettingill 11 run, (conversion failed), 6:37.
S—Colby Barr 1 run, (kick failed), 1:46.
B—Fantaski 61 run, (Mason run), 10:03.
B—Fantaski 90 interception return, (Pentz run), 5:23.
S—Jeremiah Richardson 21 run, (conversion failed), :30.
Offensive plays 35 39
First downs 14 8
Total Net Yards 319 171
Rushes-yards 33-294 26-144
Passing 25 27
Comp-Att-Int 1-2-0 5-13-2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-2
Penalties-Yards 8-65 5-30
RUSHING—Bucktail, Fantaski 8-120-TD, Pentz 8-84-TD, Mason 4-44-TD, Pettingill 4-30-TD, Gavin Yachymiak 5-13, Colten Fleisher 4-3; Sheffield, Richardson 15-91-TD, Barr 8-40-TD, Gage Mott-Macalush 2-11, Chase Kyler 1-2.
PASSING—Bucktail, Pentz 1-2-TD-25; Sheffield, Barr 5-13-2INT-27.
RECEIVING—Bucktail, Fantaski 1-25-TD; Sheffield, Austin Fiscus 2-13, Richardson 2-10, Dylan Hardwick 1-4.