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University's clutch play stops Buccaneers, 37-18

by Jesse Skiles


(September 12, 1998) BUCKHANNON-- Buckhannon-Upshur's fans must have thought they were watching a replay of the WVU-Ohio State game or perhaps a rerun of the movie "Groundhog Day."

From early in the first quarter until early in the fourth, the University Hawks converted eight consecutive third-down conversions -- seven off the passing of quarterback Cody Phillips. At least they didn't have Perlo Bastien to curse.

Phillips passed for 266 yards in University's 37-18 victory. His 12-of-16, three-touchdown performance showcased his two mainstay receivers -- Adam Taylor, who had seven receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns, and Ron Kerns, who had four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Buckhannon-Upshur (1-2) outgained University on the ground, 210-130, but just couldn't stop the Hawks' passing game. The Buccaneers were led on the ground by quarterback Jamie Andrews, who covered 87 yards on 13 carries.

University (3-0) took a 6-0 lead at 1:39 of the first quarter on a 30-yard hook-up between Phillips and Kerns.

The Buccaneers countered with an impressive 71-yard drive, capped by a 5-yard Andrews sweep that tied the score at six. Luke Poling's 31-yard run to the Hawks' 12 set up the touchdown.

Phillips put University back on top with a two-yard sneak at 4:31 of the second quarter, and with 1:24 remaining in the half, found Taylor in the back corner of the end zone for a 12-yard score and an 18-6 halftime lead.

Hawk tailback Adam Cantoni put the game away at 8:25 of the third with a 28-yard scamper. Cantoni appeared to be stopped by the middle of the Buccaneer line, but broke out to the left and raced down the sideline.

Buckhannon-Upshur could get no closer than 12 the rest of the way, but continued to show a strong ground game.

A 47-yard Phillips to Taylor pass closed the scoring with 1:58 remaining. Nate McManus' conversion was the only successful attempt on the evening for both teams.

Phillips was modest about his career-high night.

"We were just taking what the defense was giving us," Phillips said. "They were stopping the run, but the passing lanes were open."

Taylor also said the Hawks were simply following their game plan.

"We knew that we had to step it up when (Buckhannon-Upshur) was shutting down Adam (Cantoni)," Phillips said.

"Cody was putting it right there for us."