SUMMERSVILLE -- Buckhannon-Upshur rolled to 18 first downs and 304 total yards at Nicholas County Friday night, but hindered by four turnovers, the young Buccaneers fell to the Grizzlies, 14-12.
"We're still making a lot of mistakes and that comes with a young team. But still, we have to get those corrected," B-U coach Eddie Vincent said.
Nicholas (1-1) struck first at the 6:30 mark of the first quarter when 240-pound fullback Jacob Bostic plunged in from the 2. Aaron Childers' PAT kick staked the hosts to a 7-0 lead.
The score culminated an eight-play, 69-yard drive that featured three pass completions for 62 yards from the arm of quarterback Billy Bierne.
Buckhannon-Upshur (0-2) crossed midfield four times in the first half and three times ventured inside the 10. But the Bucs went to the locker room scoreless.
The most dramatic and controversial of the drives was the final series of the half. Tailback Brandon Demastes was taken out of bounds at the Grizzly 3, with the officials apparently stopping the clock with 2 seconds remaining.
However, the scoreboard ticked off the final seconds, and despite an onslaught of protests from the Buccaneer staff, the half was declared over.
Zach Allman put B-U on the board at the 7:03 mark of the third quarter, scoring from the 2. The conversion kick was blocked, leaving Nicholas with a 7-6 lead.
Nicholas responded immediately, taking the ensuing kickoff and driving 58 yards in 11 plays. Tailback Jason Bennett finished the drive, reaching paydirt from 3 yards out. Another Childers' kick gave the Grizzlies an eight-point lead, 14-6.
Buckhannon-Upshur answered in the game's closing moments. Quarterback Seth Poling connected with tight end Justin Davis over the middle, and after two nifty cuts by Davis, he dashed into the end zone.
With only 1:52 remaining, B-U went for the two-point conversion, but Allman was stopped by the Grizzly defense just inside the 1.
Buckhannon-Upshur had one last chance, but a desperation pass was intercepted by Nicholas safety Derek Thomas.
Demastes led all rushers with 114 yards on 23 carries, while Allman added 74 yards on 13 totes.
Bennett led the Grizzlies with 78 yards on 22 carries, while Bierne passed for 98 yards on 6 of 10 attempts.
"I thought we did a good job of containing Bennett, but those pass plays just killed us," Vincent said.
Buckhannon-Upshur visits University in North Central Athletic Conference action on Friday.