Raybuck leads Priory to upset of Westminster
By: Jonathan Duncan
Priory running back Thomas Raybuck had a day to remember on Saturday afternoon and the Westminster Wildcats had a day they hope to quickly erase from their memory banks.
Raybuck exploded for three third quarter touchdowns and ignited a 35-point third quarter for the Rebels as burst Wesminster’s undefeated bubble with a shocking 49-14 upset victory in a Metro League game at Westminster Christian Academy.
Heading into the third quarter, Raybuck broke loose with touchdown runs of 16 yards, 54 yards, and 75 yards as Priory (3-2, 3-1 in Metro League play) raced to a 35-7 third quarter lead and left Westminster gasping for air.
“The first half, we didn’t really find too many holes,” Raybuck said. “The second half, the o-line picked it up, they made some holes for me and luckily we got some touchdowns out of it. Running through those hole for those long runs is the best feeling in the world but I gotta give my offensive line props for it.”
Raybuck had a career day for the Rebels as he spearheaded the Priory offense with 280 yards rushing on 24 carries and five touchdowns but kept it still in perspective.
“Definitely a career day and five touchdowns is great but what’s more important really is that it’s a team win,” he said.
Priory took the lead at 7:53 of the first quarter on a 35-yard touchdown run by Raybuck making it 7-0. Westminster (4-1, 3-1 in league) behind standout quarterback Brett Bond found little rhythm against a rugged Priory defense most of the first half.
The Wildcats finally managed to score late in the half as Bond connected with Kyle Kinner on a 16-yard aerial to draw even at 7-7 with 52.3 seconds left in the first half.
Then in the third quarter, the Rebels turned to Raybuck and running game and Raybuck riddled the Wildcats defense with one big run after another scoring three touchdowns in an eight minute span.
“Our kids woke up a little bit and it kind of took us a half to figure out kind of what they were doing,” Priory coach Marty Combs said. “We made some slight adjustments at halftime and allowed Raybuck to do what he does.”
A David Nogalski 22-yard scoring pass to Dominic Cappola extended the gap to 42-7 with 2:29 left in the third quarter.
Westminster’s offense finally found a little life early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats marched 77 yards as Bond scrambled in from 8 yards out for a touchdown cutting it to 42-14.
On the next Priory series, Raybuck put the exclamation point on his day, scoring his fifth touchdown on a dizzying 54-yard run making it 49-14 and leaving the Wildcats and their faithful deflated.
Knocking Westminster from the ranks of the unbeaten definitely left the Rebels feeling more than a little satisfied as Priory played with a physical edge from beginning to end.
“We definitely took it personally,” Raybuck said. “They are a really good football team this year. It’s just that I think we were really ready to come into this game. We practiced hard all week and we executed well.”