Prep football: Bison picking up Good vibrations
BUFFALO, W.Va. - Buffalo High School running back Laythen Good has never been known for having an imposing stature.
But put a football in the 5-foot-7, 150-pound junior's hands and he becomes quite intimidating to opposing defenses.
Good, who is averaging 13 offensive touches per game, has made the most of his opportunities. He's compiled 310 rushing yards on 52 carries while grabbing 12 passes for 354 more yards.
The shifty running back is averaging six yards per carry and 29.5 yards per pass reception for the Bison (4-1), who will face a stern challenge Friday night when Wirt County (4-1) travels to Putnam County.
Good has six rushing touchdowns and four receiving touchdowns entering the contest, giving him 66 points on the year. His scoring total is second only to Wayne standout Brandon Spurlock among area small school leaders.
"He has a small stature but he has good speed and quickness," Buffalo Coach Mike Sawyer said of Good. "He's more quick than fast, and he uses that well to his advantage offensively and defensively.
"He can do a lot of different things. Some running backs aren't necessarily good at catching the ball out of the backfield or the split out position, but he can run the ball and catch it, so he's multitalented in that aspect. He accelerates when he gets the ball on some of those passes and gets out in the open. He has a lot of big plays."
Good is quick to credit Buffalo's blockers for his early success.
"I give all the credit to our line," he said. "They've really stepped up and provided big holes. All they need to do is give me a little hole and I'll do the rest, but they've been amazing this year and so have the wide receivers downfield.
"They're blocking downfield helps me spring the long plays."
Good also points to his relationship with record-breaking senior quarterback Levi Jordan for his success catching the ball.
"Me and Levi have a great chemistry," Good said. "We're great buddies on the field, but we're also great buddies off the field. We go camping, we spend time playing sandlot ball and sometimes we just pass the football. It helps us get used to each other.
"It's kind of like a brother connection in a way. That's the way I feel about it."
Good, who mans the Bison's spur position on the defensive side of the ball, also has a defensive score this season when he picked off an option pitch and returned it to the end zone.
The Bison may need more defensive heroics from Good in order to stop a potent and balanced Tigers offense.
"They're very talented," Sawyer said of Wirt County. "They look a lot like us with their balance, offensively. They like to run the ball and throw it, but they probably throw it more than run it.
"We need to take care of the ball and limit our mistakes. Whichever team executes the best is probably going to win it."
"Wirt County is a good team," Good said. "They can pass and they can run and they're very shifty with great blockers and a great defense. It will be a great game.
"Our rushing defense is having problems and Wirt County can run the ball good, so the first thing we have to do is stop the rush. Instead of letting them get inside the 20 (yard line) and then stopping them, we need to stop them with three and outs and keep them from driving down the field on us."
The game is pivotal to the Class A playoff race. The Bison enter this week as the 12th-ranked team in the division with a rating of 7.00. Wirt County is currently tied with St. Marys (4-1) at No. 8, with a 7.20 rating.
Buffalo and Wirt have each played Parkersburg Catholic and Gilmer County, winning those games by similar scores. Buffalo beat Catholic 45-0 and Gilmer 57-0. Wirt beat Catholic 35-6 and Gilmer 57-6.
The top eight teams in each class host first-round playoff games that are scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 9-10.
Contact sportswriter Michael Dailey at email@example.com or 304-348-1735.