Local Sports, Preston, Sports

Preston falls in annual Buckwheat Bowl, 50-13, to Woodrow Wilson

KINGWOOD — A slow start on defense in the first quarter and an offense that couldn’t get out of its own way spelled doom for the Preston Knights in the annual Buckwheat Bowl Thursday afternoon.

“We’re young,” said Preston coach Mark Deep. “We’re getting better, but we still make the young mistakes.”

Preston’s youth made itself apparent at all the wrong times as the Knights fell 50-13 to visiting Woodrow Wilson.

Played during Preston County’s Buckwheat Festival, the Knights (1-5) and Flying Eagles (5-1) kicked off at 4 p.m. in Kingwood as the opener to that evening’s parade through town.

Woodrow started the game with a bang as AJ Thomas returned the opening kickoff 74 yards for a touchdown just 16 seconds into the game.

The Knights responded in kind, however, when quarterback Slaton Manko hit receiver Dillon Taylor for a 7-yard passing score. 

That made it a 7-6 game in favor of the visitors, but Preston’s defense could not stop Woodrow’s efficient wing-T offense as the Flying Eagles scored three more touchdowns before the end of the first quarter for a 29-6 lead.

“A lot of it comes down to us,” Deep said. “When you play that wing-T, it’s assignment. We have to be disciplined in our assignments. In the first half, we weren’t disciplined enough.”

Shelden Miller caught a 10-yard touchdown from Manko to begin the second quarter, but Woodrow Wilson scored twice more to lead 43-13 at halftime.

Preston’s defense eventually settled in and gave up just one score in the second half, a one-yard run by Woodrow quarterback Devin Richardson. 

“Once we settled in after the first quarter, I thought we were okay,” Deep said. “The wing-T is a different animal. You see it once a year, we’ll see it twice with Bridgeport. It’s just all discipline.”

The Knight’s offense, however, made mistake after mistake, not allowing the team to get back into contention.

Preston played better than its 13 points, but the offense had three bad snaps go over Manko’s head for big losses, lost three fumbles and was intercepted.

“Offensively, we moved the ball but then there’s that one mistake,” Deep said. “Something happens, a penalty or something, and we’re not good enough to overcome those types of things.”

Manko finished 6 of 11 for 130 yards with two touchdowns. He left the game with a twisted ankle in the second half but should be fine, according to Deep. Miller led the team with 31 rushing yards to go with 27 receiving. Taylor had the 77-yard touchdown reception and intercepted a pass.

Seven different players score for Woodrow Wilson, five on the ground and two through the air.

“That’s our balance,” said coach Chad Sarrett. “We don’t have just one guy who touches the rock, we pass it around and they don’t care as long as we win.”

Richardson finished 5 of 11 for 94 yards with three total touchdowns and an interception. Jacob Reeves led the rushing attack with 45 yards and a score. Elijah Redfern and Philip Law each had a receiving touchdown.

The Flying Eagles had quite the trek to make it to Kingwood for the 4 p.m. kickoff. Sarrett said the team left Berkely around 9 a.m., only stopping in Fairmont for a bite to eat before reaching Preston County.

Woodrow Wilson will travel to play defending state champion Huntington next week while Preston is off and will play next on Oct. 13 at Bridgeport.

Woodrow Wilson 50, Preston 13
WW 29 14 7 0 — 50
PHS 6 7 0 0 — 13

Scoring Summary
WW — Thomas kick-off return 74 (Radford kick)
P —  Taylor pass 77 from Manko (kick blocked)
WW — Redfern pass 16 from Richardson (Radford kick)
WW — Waller run 7 (Umberger pass)
WW — Reeves run 7 (Radford kick)
P — Miller pass 23 from Manko (Turner kick)
WW — Law pass 55 from Richardson (Radford kick)
WW — Jones run 7 (Radford kick)
WW — Richardson run 1 (Umberger kick)

Individual Statistics
RUSHING — Woodrow Wilson: 40-164-5td (Ford 8-31; Jones 6-45-td; Reeves 3-17-td; Waller 6-34-td; Zakresky 2-25; Ray 5-8-td; Price 2-(-3) Thomas 1-12; Miller 1-4; Richardson 1-(-1); Hinton 3-4; Sharpe 2-2). Preston: 35-46 (Land 1-1; Manko 10-19; Likens 1-2; Miller 12-31; Turner 2-(-23); Taylor 1-(-5); Lewellen 7-28; Bryner 1-(-7).
PASSING — Woodrow Wilson: 5-11 94-2td-int (al Richardson). Preston: 7-13 129-2td-int (Manko 6-11 130-2td; Turner 0-1 int).
RECEIVING — Woodrow Wilson: 5-94-2td (Redfern 3-25-td; Waller 1-14; Law 1-55-td). Preston: 7-129-2td (Taylor 2-76-td; Miller 2-27-td; Land 2-18; Smith 1-8).