Buckingham’s ground game stays the course as Knights blast Clarke

Buckingham’s Kyree Koonce and Kenneth Johnson have essentially been clones of one another in the ground game this year with regards to production.

Nothing changed in the playoffs.

Against Clarke County Friday, the tandem did the bulk of the heavy lifting as the Knights piled up 541 rushing yards while rolling to a 48-20 victory.

In the process, they earned a rematch with James River District rival Goochland in the East Section quarterfinals, a team that barely edged the Knights 28-27 in overtime just two weeks ago.

Koonce rushed 22 times for 255 yards and a touchdown while Johnson went for 247 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Koonce threw in yet another return touchdown for good measure, taking a punt back for his sixth punt or kick return for a score on the season. Johnson did some major damage defensively with two interceptions and seven total tackles.

Johnson and Koonce both averaged more than 11.5 yards per carry against Clarke.

Tariq Bartee had 16.5 tackles to set the pace on defense, including one for a loss. The Knights forced four turnovers total including the two picks by Johnson. Justin Ayres came up with a fumble recovery for a touchdown while Leon Ragland also had an interception. Ayres finished with nine total tackles, four of them solo stops.

The Knights, the No. 7 seed in the Division 2, East Section playoffs, will hit the road to take on Goochland, the No. 2 seed.