Short week, tough opponent await second-ranked Buford

By Corey Clark

Staff Writer

It's been an interesting few days for the Buford football program.

On Friday, the Class AA No. 2 Wolves flew up to Canton, Ohio, to play in the Kirk Herbstreit Classic.

On Saturday, they went head to head with one of the biggest schools in Ohio, Grove City High, and bludgeoned the hosts in a 34-7 win.

They flew back after the game, got very little rest on Saturday night, then woke up bright and early on Sunday to prepare for the next team on the schedule. And that next team is no joke.

Working on a short week, made even shorter by the Labor Day holiday, all the Wolves have to deal with now is Cartersville, the No. 4-ranked team in Class AAA.

"This is kind of like the playoffs for us," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "It's just grinding, having to play on Saturday and then turn around and play the following Friday. So we'll find out about our team this week.

"And I told the coaches, I was also going to find out about them this week. We put in 14 hours out here on Sunday and then we were out here again late (on Monday night). I feel like we're going to have a good plan, and I'm excited to see the improvement between the first and second week."

Last year, the Wolves and the Purple Hurricanes battled down to the final seconds, with Buford pulling out a 28-25 win on a late field goal.

Simpson expects a similar game on Friday night, though admittedly Cartersville isn't exactly an ideal opponent on a short week.

"I think it's going to be a heck of a football game," Simpson said. "There are going to be some good players on that field."

The head coach then added with a laugh: "We need the Buford folks to come out of the woodwork on Friday night, because Cartersville is going to bring the whole town."

Put up your Dukes

Duluth quarterback Michael Box won't soon forget what number Augustus Dukuly wears. The Norcross senior defensive lineman sacked Box three times in Friday's 47-12 win, and finished the game with eight total tackles and four tackles for loss.

Mr. Excitement

Berkmar senior Isiah Jupiter made a name for himself last season as a receiver, hauling in 31 passes for 743 yards and six scores. It turns out, he's not bad on defense and special teams either. Jupiter, listed at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, not only had a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 22-6 win over Luella on Friday night, but he also intercepted two passes from his secondary spot as well.

A new go-to guy

With ultra productive players like Ryan McDaniel and Evan Gilles graduating from last year's team, the North offense knew it needed to find some more playmakers heading into the season.

It looks like the Bulldogs found one in running back Tyler Jarry.

The junior accounted for all three North touchdowns on Friday night.

Jarry rushed 11 times for 25 yards in the 21-16 victory over Walton and also caught a team-high eight passes for 86 yards and another touchdown as well for the seventh-ranked Bulldogs.