Bucktail loses on homecoming

It was a game of two big momentum swings but in the end, it was Pottsville Nativity that made the final play to allow the Green Wave to spoil homecoming for the Bucks in a 22-14 win.

The Green Wave jumped out a 14-0 lead in the first quarter paced by Nativity running back Steven Spolshi who seemed a half of step faster than anyone on the field. Spolshi scored from 29 yards out and set up a quarterback Cody Miller touchdown pass to TJ Wagner allowing the visiting team to grab the lead.

Bucktail junior Gage Sutliff celebrated notching 1,000 rushing yards in the first quarter. Late in the second quarter, Sutliff’s hard running that rarely sees the first defender make a solo tackle paid off as four straight runs allowed the Bucks to score as a direct snap to Sutliff on the two point conversion run cut the lead to 14-8.

The Green Wave had owned the majority of the first half but the Sutliff dominated rushing attack suddenly turned the tide.

On Nativity’s final drive of the half, it finished with a fourth-and-30 as sophomore Robert Devaul’s 11-yard sack for a loss of Miller played a big part of the defensive effort.

The majority of the third quarter was the same for the Green Wave as bobbled snaps and a surging Bucktail defense kept them in check.

The Bucks were almost playing sandlot ball at times as they realized Nativity simply couldn’t stop Sutliff. The back would carry four and even five plays in a row until he would need a break.

Bucktail senior Liam Dwyer along with classmate Emma Intallura were named king and queen during halftime and it was Dwyer’s 30-yard diving catch from a Dillon Cross pass that set up a Sutliff 5-yard TD run. The conversion failed, tying the game 14-14.

The Green Wave moved the ball with little success until the play of the game would happen with 4:01 remaining.

Miller took a shot from a Bucktail tackler to unload a 79-yard touchdown pass to Wagner.

The play completely stunned the crowd as a Bucktail win seemed eminent. Nativity had managed just two first downs in the second half before pulling out the long game-clinching play. The conversion was successful as the Green Wave secured the 22-14 win.

The Bucks will be home again Friday when they host CMVT.