FARWELL - The Bucktail coaching staff was well aware of what they were getting into against Schuylkill Haven when they drew them in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Hurricanes brought a 5-5 record to Farwell, but head coach Bruce Ransom and his assistants knew they were anything but average. Schuylkill's five losses came from teams that are a combined 41-9. They knew it was an uphill battle.
Following Schuylkill Haven's 50-6 over the Bucks, Ransom would call the Hurricanes, "the best team we have seen in three years."
"Every now and then you run into a situation where size, level of competition and numbers just prove to be too much, this was one of those nights for us," Ransom said. "They showed their hand every single play, you knew they were going to run and play the power game behind their 260-270 pound linemen and that's what they did."
Ransom wasn't exaggerating. The offensive line of the Hurricanes often out-sized their Bucktail defensive line opponent by 100 pounds. Simple traps and pulls would propel Hurricane backs into the Bucktail secondary 10 yards down field.
The most telling stat of the game may have been that the nearly three dozen offensive plays that Schuylkill Haven ran in the first half, every one proved to gain yards for the rusher. Twice the Bucks forced the Hurricanes into fourthdown situations: Once back Todd Zimmerman gained 45 yards, the other time quarterback Ryan Fink ran 22 yards for a touchdown.
"We just couldn't stop them, we never quit trying which really is a testament to who we are as a team, but we just didn't have an answer for them," Ransom said.
Bucktail's highlights of the game actually came early. Down 6-0, Willie Hopkins picked up a fumble recovery on the Hurricane's 15 yard line.
On third down quarterback Ryan Bratton found Chuckie Probst in the end zone for a 13-yard toss.
The game was tied 6-6, but Schuylkill Haven would score an unanswered 44 throughout the rest of the game.