NEW MARKET, Ala. (WHNT) — They say defense wins championships, but defense also wins big time region matchups.

On Friday night, Buckhorn led Lee by just two points at the half, but then coming out of the locker room, the Bucks defense stepped up, limiting the Generals to just 39 total yards of offense while pitching the shutout – getting the 34-22 win to take sole possession of second place in Class 6A Region 8. For that, Buckhorn is the Week 7 Tyler Mann Team of the Week!

“I just felt like we were in control, we had scored with 20 seconds to go in the half to make it 24-22, we just needed to get some stops. I think I asked for one stop and I asked for the team to score to make it a 2-score game and that’s kind of what we came out and did in the second half,” Buckhorn football head coach Matt Patterson said.

“We played as a unit, it came easy later on in the third quarter when we finally got stopped and started getting scores. The job’s not done, stay focused and keep grinding,” Buckhorn senior tackle Jordyn Rice added.

“My message was basically to the defense to just play free, because it seemed like we were just scared of making mistakes and I was telling them to just play free, play your game just like we’ve been practicing all week. It was just a matter of executing and I think that we did a really great job of executing in the second half. Just do our jobs, not worry about anybody else, just focus on each other and just stay focused and locked in, it’s all coming together,” Buckhorn senior linebacker Jordan Edwards said.

“It’s probably the most complete game that we’ve played thus far, but I told the team after the game the same message, super proud of them but I still don’t think we’ve played our best football yet and so that’s something that’s still driving us a little bit. We battled a Lee team with Carlin Long who rushed for 400 yards the week before, and we’re going to need that confidence from Friday night this week as we go to Fort Payne who seems to be throwing it for 400 yards a game so it’s same challenge, just different way of attacking. We’ve got a lot of goals, we’ve accomplished the playoff goal but there’s a lot more goals that we want to accomplish still in front of us, a little bit of unfinished business so to speak and so we feel like we’re in the driver’s seat for those goals,” Patterson added.

Buckhorn will play at Fort Payne on Friday night, Oct. 20.