Anyone who thought Boyd Buchanan's high-flying offensive attack was going to be slowed by a little bit — or maybe a lot — of rain was in for a surprise as the host Buccaneers scored six touchdowns and racked up 512 yards of total offense to defeat Notre Dame 41-22 in a Division II-AA East matchup Friday night.
"We talked to the kids before the game and said, 'We're going to be who we are,'" Bucs coach Jeremy Bosken explained. "We weren't going to let the weather scare us or anything like that. We challenged the kids to grow a different dynamic of our offense that we haven't had to do yet. That's going to challenge us for the playoff road ahead."
Quarterback Eli Morris and two-way star Eli Evans powered the attack. Morris ran for 97 yards and a touchdown and threw for three more scores, while Evans scored on the ground and on a Morris pass, completed a 30-yard pass to Morris and recovered a fumble for Boyd Buchanan (8-1, 4-1).
Boyd Buchanan jumped on the Fighting Irish (0-9, 0-6) early, with the two scores by Evans in the first quarter along with a 37-yard rushing score by Morris in the second quarter to go take a 20-0 lead into halftime.
But Notre Dame, and especially senior running back Jeffery Watkins Jr., came out ready to battle in the third quarter. After totaling 68 yards in the first half, Watkins went to work with four straight carried capped by a 2-yard touchdown run to get his team on the board. Watkins finished with 323 yards on 40 carries and all three of his team's touchdowns in the third quarter.
"Jeff is just one of those kids — he's just a warrior," Irish coach Charles Fant said. "He's one of those kids that in practice or games, he's just the hardest worker. He plays like he practices, and it shows."
With Watkins running at will, the Boyd Buchanan offense was forced to answer, and the Bucs did with three third-quarter touchdowns of their own, covering 68, 34 and 48 yards to keep the Irish from making a comeback.
"We just came out here and fought to the end," Evans said. "They brought it back in the third quarter, but we kept pushing and we kept scoring. It was just a fun night."
With the postseason in sight, Bosken is looking forward to a big week and keeping his team on track for a deep playoff run to extend a special season.
"We're just going to go about the week and have fun," he said. "We're going to love on the kids, play a JV game Monday, grill them about their grades and just get ready for football. I don't think any of us want this season to end. It's a special group of guys."