By Corey Clark Staff Writer
BUFORD - Earlier in the week Buford head coach Jess Simpson said he expected the whole town of Cartersville to show up for Friday night's showdown.
Instead, only a few hundred made the trip to Tom Riden Stadium.
Perhaps the rest of the Purple Hurricanes' fan base knew what was coming.
Buford, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, was dominant from the opening whistle and buried Class AAA No. 4 Cartersville 40-0 on Friday night. Buford improves to 2-0 on the year and Cartersville drops to 1-1.
"No, I wasn't expecting that at all," said senior Tyler King, who scored two touchdowns as a fullback and helped harass Cartersville quarterback Donavon Tate into a horrific night from his defensive end position. "We thought it was going to be a four-quarter game and who could last the longest."
King and his teammates had good reason to think it was going to come down to the wire. Last year, Buford had to fight back in the fourth quarter against the Purple Hurricanes and won 28-25 on a last-second field goal.
This year, it was over by the second quarter.
"Once things started going our way, it just kind of snowballed," Simpson said.
The snowball started when Cartersville missed a 25-yard field goal on its first drive after marching 73 yards on 15 plays.
It took Buford all of 80 seconds to capitalize, with fullback Jessel Curry busting loose for a 67-yard TD run on the Wolves' third play from scrimmage.
The Purple Hurricanes fumbled deep in their own territory on their next possession and Demetris Murray scored the first of his two touchdowns on a six-yard run to make the score 13-0 with 2:55 left in the first quarter.
Six minutes later, after a 11-play, 88-yard drive, it was 21-0 when King bulled in from one yard out and quarterback Twoey Hosch scampered in on the two-point conversion.
Two straight interceptions, one by Michael May and another by T.J. Pridemore, set up the Wolves with great field position on back-to-back possessions and they scored touchdowns both times - one on a six-yard run by Murray and another on a five-yard run by King.
When the half finally ended, Buford had three interceptions (two by May), one forced fumble, five touchdown drives, 268 total yards and a 38-0 lead.
"We had a really good game plan," King said. "Wherever we were, they weren't. It was just great play-calling by our coaches."
And the defense, after allowing 73 yards on the initial drive of the game, allowed just 20 yards the rest of the half.
"I think on the first series we had to adjust to their speed a little bit," Simpson said, "and we did it. The kids showed a lot of poise down there. And then when they missed that field goal, from there it just seemed to go our way."
Buford forced two more turnovers in the second half, one on a terrific interception by Josh Rudnik and another on a fumble out of the end zone that resulted in a safety and the final two points of the game.
For Cartersville, Tate started the game 5 of 7 for 46 yards, but finished the night just 9 of 21 for 71 yards and four interceptions.
"They came out strong," King said, "and we knew that whoever got that first hit was going to be in good shape. If we could stop them, and then go score ourselves, that could get the ball rolling for us. And that's what we did."
And the Purple Hurricanes were rolled over.
Thankfully, the whole town of Cartersville didn't have to witness it.
Buford: Jessel Curry 67 run (Lawson McGlon kick) 4:19
Buford: Demetris Murray 6 run (kick failed) 2:55
Buford: Tyler King 1 run (Twoey Hosch run) 8:24
Buford: Murray 6 run (McGlon kick) 6:46
Buford: King 5 run (McGlon kick) 5:28
Buford: Daniel Villafuerte 30 FG, :04
Buford: Safety, fumble out of end zone, 6:21
RUSHING - Cartersville: Eric Cole 5-31; Donavon Tate 5-11; Brian Long
5-11; Todd Dean 5-10; Morgan Alexander 6-8; Tim Baker 1-3; Levi Mauldin
1-1; Elijer Martinez 1-(-2). Buford: Jessel Curry 5-84; Demetris Murray
8-45; Tyler King 7-38; Cody Getz 5-37; Twoey Hosch 2-25; Cody Vining
2-11; Sterling Bell 2-11; Storm Johnson 1-6; Jake Vaverka 2-4.
PASSING - Cartersville: Donavon Tate 9-21-4, 71. Buford: Twoey Hosch
RECEIVING - Cartersville: Tim Baker 6-46; Morgan Alexander 2-16; Byron
Hall 1-9. Buford: Melvin Harris 2-58; Cody Getz 2-25; Demetris Murray 2-10.