BUCKINGHAM, Va. — Kenneth “Peanut” Johnson scored four touchdowns and passed for another for Buckingham County, which blew by visiting Gate City 42-17 on Saturday in the VHSL 2A West football playoffs.
Johnson, who carried the ball 28 times for 168 yards, scored on runs of 29, 2, 2 and 7 yards. He also tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Justin Ayers.
“We beat a good football team today,” Buckingham coach Craig Gill said. “They are a first-class bunch.
“They had the early turnovers and we were able to jump on top and play from in front.”
The Knights (10-3) travel to take on Brunswick (11-2) next weekend in the state semifinals. Brunswick defeated Clarke County 21-14 to advance.
“We’re playing hard and having a good time,” Gill said. “We live to play another week.”
Turnovers plagued the Blue Devils (8-5), who finished with three fumbles and an interception.
“The boys played hard,” Gate City coach Bill Houseright said. “But the mistakes got us behind the 8-ball early and we could never fight our way out of it.”
Gate City turned over the ball on its first two possessions and the Knights (10-3) capitalized with Johnson scoring both times to put Buckingham on top 14-0.
The Blue Devils got on the board with some razzle-dazzle. Gate City quarterback Hunter Collier pitched the ball to Caleb Herron, who tossed it back to Collier. The freshman QB then raced 62 yards to paydirt to make the score 14-7.
Johnson scored again for Buckingham with 1:44 to go in the first quarter, putting the Knights back on top 21-7.
Wesley Byrd kicked a 29-yard field goal late in the second quarter to bring Gate City to within 21-10 at the half.
Johnson’s TD pass to Ayers in the third quarter made it 28-10 then he scored himself on a 7-yard run, ballooning the Knights’ advantage to 35-10.
“The Johnson kid ran the ball awfully well,” Houseright said. “You have to give Buckingham a lot of credit. They are a good football team.”
Collier scored on a 3-yard run to make it 35-17 before Buckingham quarterback Leon Ragland added a 5-yard TD run for the final margin of victory.
Ragland finished with 182 yards on 18 carries.
Collier had 105 yards on 12 rushes, and Evan Baker added 75 yards on 15 carries for Gate City.
After starting the season with a 1-4 record, not many could have imagined that the Blue Devils would have made it all the way to the third round of the playoffs.
“With a little break or two, there’s no telling what could have happened for us this year,” Houseright said. “I’m proud of the kids. They worked hard and did everything we asked of them.”