Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford Andre Johnson (32) rushes for the first touchdown of the game against Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in a varsity football game played Friday in Roswell. Buford Darrian Smith (26) assists in blocking.
ROSWELL -- It wasn't quite a perfect start of the season for Buford.
However, the four-time defending Class AA state champion Wolves began their drive for a fifth straight title on a very strong note.
Sam Clay threw for a touchdown and ran for another and the Buford defense created six turnovers that turned into 28 points as the Wolves ran away with a 42-0 victory over host Blessed Trinity on Friday night.
C.J. Moore also had a big game with an interception on defense and a 33-yard touchdown catch from Clay on offense, and the top-ranked Wolves (1-0) outgained the Titans 369-31.
About the only negative numbers for the Wolves involved eight penalties for 72 yards, but even that didn't dampen Buford coach Jess Simpson's pleasant surprise at how his team dominated.
"I was real tickled with how we started," Simpson said. "I wasn't really knowing what to expect. Last week (in a preseason scrimmage), we played hard, but we were sloppy. This week, we made some mistakes, but boy, we cut a bunch of them out."
It didn't take long for Buford to establish its dominance, when Blessed Trinity (0-1) tried a little trickery on the third play from scrimmage.
Patrick Lamar took a pitch in the backfield and attempted a halfback option pass, but Jaylen Mize snagged it away from a Titans receiver for an interception and set Buford up at the Blessed Trinity 35-yard line.
Six plays later, Andre Johnson barreled through the Titans' defense, shaking off several would-be tacklers for a 20-yard touchdown run that gave the Wolves a 7-0 lead with 8:11 left in the first quarter.
But it was the second quarter in which Buford firmly grabbled hold of the game.
After Moore's interception at the Blessed Trinity 45 with 2:15 left in the first quarter, Johnson rumbled into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game on the second play of the second quarter -- this time, from 34-yards out, making the score 14-0 just 56 seconds into the middle period.
The score ignited a run of 28 Buford points over the next 7:53, with Clay hitting Moore from 33-yards out and running in from 16 yards away, and Rick Legrant scooping up a fumble and returning it 15 yards for another TD, as the Wolves' lead balooned to 35-0 before lightning caused a 1-hour delay with 3:11 left in the half.
Not much changed once play resumed as Thomas Wilson picked off a Spencer McManes pass on the first play back, and Andrew Sciara busted off a 35-yard touchdown run just 3:21 into the third quarter to push the lead to 42-0 and kick in the running clock on the mercy rule.
Buford's ground game was perhaps the most dominating area on the evening, with 19 different ball carries rolling up 278 yards.