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Eagles halt Bucs in playoffs
Outside Renton Memorial Stadium the bus for the Kingston Buccaneers idled in the rain.
The bus driver sat silently in his seat waiting for the team to get back from the locker room.
Halfway down the aisle, one young woman sat quietly by herself, wiping tears from her eyes as she waited to hand ice packs to the weary players.
The rain pounded the roof of the bus as the Bucs trudged in, their uniforms drenched from their playoff game.
"We really started out unsure of ourselves, but now we all kind of expect to win," line back Charles Goller said earlier in the day.
This was Goller's first year on the team, having previously played PeeWee football. Goller, a junior, said the rain during the Kingston Buccaneer's playoff game against the Eagles was beneficial.
The Eagles, which defeated the Bucs 41-20 on Nov. 6, are a strong passing team and Goller said the Bucs knew how to play that to their advantage.
Buccaneer quarterback Sam Byers agreed.
"It fit our game plan pretty well," Byers said.
Earlier in the day, the Bucs stepped on to their own turf for one last play practice. The team held a strong ground game this season, ending with a total of 2,525 rushing yards during the regular season and 932 passing yards.
This game plan seemed to work for the first half of the game against the Eagles, too, which would be a fast-paced, back-and-forth battle for possession.
Running back Lou Hecker ran for a 67 yard touchdown to start things off, but Eagles running back Bakari Davis would answer right back after a quick drive into Buc territory.
The first touchdown by Davis would not be the last.
By halftime the Eagles would be up 14-13, but two consecutive field goals in the third quarter put the Eagles up 20-13. The Bucs went scoreless in the third.
Byres responded to the third quarter field goals with a touchdown pass to tight end George Marinan, tying the game up 20-20.
The solid 10 yard pass would be the Bucs last time stepping into the end zone, however.
A set of penalties and interceptions set the Bucs to a defensive stance, forcing them into their own territory for the rest of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles, which have gone to the playoffs five years in a row, scored three touchdowns- the last two from Davis, who ended the night with 147 rushing yards.
In less than five minutes, the game went from a tie of 20-20 to an Eagles lead of 41-20.
"This is all pretty nerve-racking," Byers said on the team bus before the game. "We have a good game plan, we just need to execute."
Though the Bucs season has ended, Byers said he will be back next season.
Rushing - Bucs: Lou Hecker 30-156, Nick Zehrung 4-16.
Eagles: Bakari Davis 24-147, Isiah Corwin 2-21.
Passing- Bucs: Sam Byers 4-9-2-41.
Eagles: Matt Stuart 10-20-1-156.
Receiving- Bucs: George Marinan 2-26, Tucker Bowman 1-7, Derick White 1-8.
Eagles: Corwin 3-81, Davis 2-34, Diondre Tom 2-23, Derrick Holt 2-18, Cameron Callen 1-0.