Updated: Oct 1, 2019
- The Villages, FL. Written By: Kevin Smalls Friday night football featured a non-conference matchup between the Villages Charter Buffalo (3-1) and the visiting Trinity Catholic Celtics (5-0).
Some would question why schedule a tough game on homecoming week, but the Buffalo were not intimidated by the Celtics’ hype, as they relentlessly executed their game plan and played hard from start to finish.
The Buffalo handed the Celtics their first loss of their season, and improved to 4-1 on the season after defeating the Celtics, 17-6.
“This is the biggest win in our program history,” 18th year Buffalo head Coach Richard Pettus said.
The Buffalo were the underdogs coming, in.
The Celtics have a very solid offensive line, and talented players that are known for making big plays. Their margin of victory coming into this game was 19.4 points. The Buffalo game plan was to keep the Celtics offense off the field.
“We knew that we had to control the clock,” Coach Pettus said. “We had to keep our defense off the field tonight because their offense is that good.”
And that, they did.
The Buffalo took seven minutes off the clock on their first possession, which resulted in a rushing touchdown by senior QB and USF football commit, Mac Harris, making the score 7-0.
When the Celtics offense took the field for the first time, The Buffalo defense did not back down. They contained the run, and forced the Celtics to punt.
The Buffalo following offensive possession resulted in an impressive 42-yard field goal make by senior kicker Brandon Gielow. Last week, Gielow made his career-best 52-yard field goal attempt.
The Buffalo were now up 10-0, and the Celtics offense had still not been on the field long enough to find their rhythm---credit the Buffalo defense.
Midway through the second quarter, Harris found senior WR Joshua Marion for a 30-yard touchdown pass to put the Buffalo up 17-0.
Just when you thought the Celtics were laying down, junior QB Dominic Brinser connected with sophomore WR/CB Jamarrien Burt on 54-yard touchdown pass.
The Celtics failed two-point conversion attempt made the score 17-6.
Mac Harris and the Buffalo continued controlling the tempo for the remainder of the game.
Buffalo senior RB/DB Bryce Mellado had a huge impact on this win, as he continuously made big rushing plays for his team.
The Celtics offense still struggled to get going in the second half.
Late in the fourth quarter, they were picked up some momentum when they completed big back-to-back passing receptions to get them the Buffalo 15-yard line.
The momentum ended the next play due to a big-time interception by senior WR/DB AJ Williams. His interception sealed the huge win for the Buffalo, final score being 17-6.
“He hit me with a double move,” Williams said. “But because of what I watched on film, I sat on it and ran with him and was able to go up and get the big interception.”
After the game, while the Buffalo celebrated the win, Mac Harris shouted, “This win is for Jo!”
Joseph Machado was a member of the Buffalo football program last year when he passed due to a fatal car accident.
“Even if Jo wasn’t the biggest guy on the field, he was, because he had the biggest heart on the field,” he said.
Harris said that’s been our team motto this year, “Play like Jo, live like Jo.”
Harris said it is important to always embrace the moment and play every play like it’s your last play. “That’s what Jo did, and we will always remember him for that.”
Player of the Game – Mac Harris – 1 Rushing TD, 1 Passing TD