|By Gaylen Duskey |
Buffalo ain't stupid. It ain't classy either.
When a series of bizarre one-sided calls and some equally bizarre non calls handed fifth-ranked Buffalo the ball game on a silver platter in the third quarter. The Bisons took it.
But when the game was over for all intents and purposes with the Bison leading by 30 with less than four minutes in the game they showed that they weren't a classy bunch either by leaving the starters in the game against the Calhoun reserves to get that one extra touchdown.
But it should never have come down to the Bisons showing their lack of class.
It could have been a lot different game had the weird and bizarre calls and non calls in the third period not gone universally against Calhoun.
It started not long after Calhoun had scored early in the third to move within two - 14-12.
But that was as close as Calhoun would be allowed to come.
First there was a decided discrepancy in calls in the third period as Calhoun was whistled seven times for 65 yards compared to two penalties on the Bisons for 10 yards - both offsides penalties.
In the first drive Calhoun was nailed for four penalties including one crucial one on a late hit out of bounds call that not only kept the drive alive.
Buffalo pushed the lead out to nine, 21-12, on a penalty-aided drive but it was only the tip of the iceberg.
Buffalo got the ball back when Isaiah Robinson intercepted a pass after seeming shoving the Calhoun receiver out of the way. Incredibly the Calhoun receiver was whistled for pass interference and Buffalo declined the penalty taking over the ball inside its 30 yard line.
The Bisons started moving the ball and was aided by a defensive holding call against Calhoun on a running play.
Then a really bizarre call or non call gave Buffalo all the breaks it could possibly ask for.
With the ball on the Buffalo 47 yard line Bisons quarterback Levi Jordan hit a receiver near the ball inside the Calhoun 20.
Offsetting penalties were called in the Buffalo backfield.
But instead of playing the down over the officials awarded Buffalo the ball inside the 30. It didn't take long for the Bisons to put six more points on the board to go on top 27-12.
But the bizarre officiating was not over.
After Calhoun gave the ball back to the Bisons again Buffalo fumbled and Calhoun recovered. No whistles. No penalty flags. Nothing.
Instead of giving Calhoun the ball or instead of letting Buffalo keep the ball with about a five-yard loss the officials decided it was a no play and moved the ball back to the original line of scrimmage letting the Bisons keep possession at that point.
The subsequent touchdown put Buffalo on top 34-12 and for all intents and purposes had decided the winner - the Bisons.
But for whatever reason the Bisons kept the starters in and scored again with about eight minutes left to take a 30-point lead 42-12.
After Calhoun turned the ball back to the Bisons with about four minutes to go the first offensive unit came back out onto the field for fifth-ranked Buffalo going against what was essentially the Red Devils reserve team.
And the Bisons' last touchdown wasn't like one of those "oops" things as it had three touchdowns called back by holding penalties and blocks in the back (the officials finally called those after allowing them for most of the game) before putting its last six-pointer on the board on a 20-yard pass from starting quarterback Jordan to starting split end Garrison Erwin with 2:30 to play.
After that Buffalo left its starting defense in to stop Calhoun's reserves before finally putting in its reserves with about a minute to play.
Despite the bizarre officiating and Buffalo's willingness to run the score up the game did feature a lot of positives for the Red Devils.
First the Red Devils slugged it out on even terms with the Bisons.
They didn't fold their tent after falling behind 14-0. Instead they battled back and were within two - 14-12 - early in the third period.
The Red Devils got a semblance of a running game going as Logan Moore led the way with 149 yards on 26 carries. He also scored both Calhoun touchdowns on runs of one and two yards.
Calhoun didn't turn the ball over too often as it lost two interceptions and two fumbles compared to one interception and two fumbles by the Bisons.
Calhoun also clicked in its passing game as Moore connected on eight of 27 passes for 134 yards. Joe Richards caught two deep balls for 67 yards setting up both Calhoun touchdowns. Mason Sheldon hauled in three passes for 50 yards while Trent Phillips had two receptions for 10 yards and Austin Satterfield one for seven.
But probably the biggest thing Calhoun did on Senior Night was to put its 72-0 shellacking at the hands of St. Marys behind it and give Buffalo all it wanted for most of the game.
Calhoun, 2-6, will travel to Wirt County, a 35-0 winner over Williamstown, next Friday night.