If fantasy football was played at the high school level, Caide Bunfill would be a must have for everyone’s lineup as he carried the Barnesville Shamrocks to a victory over St. John Central by a 35-7 score in the final home game of the season on Friday.
Barnesville (6-3) rode Bunfill to victory via his his 13 touches for 230 yards and three touchdowns, with the third score his 19th of the season which ties the school record.
Bunfill gave all the credit to his offensive line, noting that he “owes his line a steak dinner,” a statement that BHS head coach Matt Johnson agreed with.
“Bunfill is a heck of a runner,” the ‘Rocks coach noted, “although our offensive line doesn’t get the credit they deserve.
“Defensively, I think we physically beat them up,” Johnson added. “They’re a good offensive team, but I think that took a toll on them.”
Bunfill’s 230 rushing yards was just part of an unstoppable running attack that generated 454 yards and had Butch Holskey only needing nine carries to deliver a 145-yard game on the ground along with two touchdowns. The Shamrocks combined to garner 606 total yards of offense.
Action started with a Barnesville fumble on the opening kick-off, with Anthony Busack recovering the ball for St. John’s on the Shamrocks’ 15-yard line.
Barnesville’s defense also turned in a courageous effort as they held SJC from scoring on third down from the 11-yard line when Brady Treherne got into the backfield and brought down the quarterback for a nine-yard loss that led to a Fighting Irish missed field goal.
That’s when junior Bunfill, began his spectacular night as he dashed through the line of scrimmage and was off to the races for a 67-yard touchdown run on Barnesville’s third offensive play of the game.
The Shamrocks shared the “rock” as their next drive ended with a Holskey touchdown run from one yard out, making it a 14 point lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter was a slugfest as both defenses bent, but didn’t break. St. John’s was forced to punt twice and Barnesville was held twice on fourth down, including a fourth-and-goal.
Finally, Barnesville landed a punch with just over a minute left in the half,, hitting paydirt on a 20-yard run by Bunfill as he broke away from four Irish defenders and galloped into the end zone for “six”. The extra-point was no good, putting BHS up 20-0.
St. John’s kept battling late in the second quarter, moving the ball down to Barnesville’s seven-yard line with seconds left on the clock.
That’s when quarterback Javon Davis dropped back, delivered a pass and was picked off by Busack at the three to send Barnesville into the break with the shutout still in tact.
After a quick three-and-out by St. John’s to start the second half, Barnesville put together a five-play drive that had Holskey busting through a hole in the line and going untouched for a 16-yard score to put the ‘Rocks up 28-0 after quarterback Matthew Burkhart found Hunter Graham for two points.
Late in the third quarter, the Fighting Irish were looking to get on the board when the Shamrocks’ defense again stepped up and forced a fumble at the three-yard line that was recovered by Cole Susac to keep the momentum in Barnesville’s favor.
From there, Bunfill knew exactly what to do with that momentum as he took it and sliced through the defense, breaking more tackles and completely outrunning the defense as he raced to a 98-yard touchdown that got the hometown crowd rocking as Barnesville took a 35-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I have no explanation for it,” Bunfill said. “I owe it all to hard work and God-given ability.”
The Shamrocks decided to go with a backup quarterback for one play, but their was some miscommunication on the snap and Jeff Green recovered a fumble for SJC.
On the next play, St. John’s finally got on the board as Davis found Cameron Opic for a 22-yard pass, wrapping up the scoring.
On the Fighting Irish’s last offensive play, Barnesville’s Spencer Lake stepped in front of a Davis pass, which again stalled a St. John’s drive deep in Barnesville territory.
Barnesville’s defense drew praise from Coach Johnson.
“We keep saying play the next play,” he offered. “Tonight we did that.
“This win is big for morale after having a rough couple of weeks,” Johnson added. “Tonight, we got our heads on straight and that’s big for us.”
Besides the duo of Bunfill and Holskey, Daniel Brown and Burkhart also carried the ball for the ‘Rocks, with Brown tallying 41 yards and Burkhart earning 29 yards.
Burkhart completed seven of his 11 passes for 152 yards, with Bunfill being his favorite target as he grabbed two passes for 100 yards receiving, giving Bunfill 330 all-purpose yards. Also hauling in two catches for BHS was Kaelan Hannahs, good for 26 yards.
St. John’s only managed a net of 11 rushing yards, but did some damage though the air with Davis finding 20 of his 46 targets for 237 yards and a score.
NEXT—Barnesville closes out the 2015 season at Union Local on Friday, with kickoff at 7 p.m.