Legrant leads Buford to romp over Decatur

BUFORD -- Buford's Rick Legrant doesn't get too many opportunities to run the ball, but on Friday night, the senior made the most of what touches he did get.

Legrant carried the ball twice, scoring on runs of 13 and 52 yards, as part of the Wolves 59-13 dismantling of Decatur in both teams' Region 6-AA, Division A opener.

Legrant was one of six different Wolves to score as top-ranked Buford (7-0, 1-0) started strong and never looked back.

"It's rare that I get to run the ball so, for me, it was fun," Legrant said of his two carries. "We prepared for this game like we always do by keeping to our fundamentals."

Those fundamentals for Buford are hit hard, run hard and get to the ball fast, and those ideals may never have been more apparent this season than they were in the first half.

Decatur (2-4, 0-1) was held virtually motionless in the first two quarters as the Bulldogs managed just one first down while gaining a net total of 44 yards.

While the Buford defense kept the Bulldog offense from moving, Buford's point production came from all aspects of its game as the offense, defense and special teams all chipped in.

"It was one of those nights where things went our way early and it just snowballed from there,' Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "We played a clean game, had some turnovers and were dominant on special teams. I'm sure we'll find some things on film this weekend but there wasn't much we didn't do wrong."

Buford opened the game as the kicking team but a recovery of a muffed kick quickly put the Wolves in business with ball at the Decatur 9-yard-line.

The Bulldog defense held for three plays but David Petroni's 23-yard field goal put the Wolves ahead early.

And that was just the beginning.

Legrant scored the first offensive TD on the ensuing possession with a 13-yard run, while Nathan Staub muscled in from seven yards out on the next possession to push the lead to 17-0. Staub would later add another TD in the second quarter off a 6-yard pass from Sam Clay.

After Staub's rushing score, the defense got in on the act when C.J. Moore collected an errant lateral and raced in 38 yards for a TD, extending the lead to 24-0.

In the second quarter, it was time for the special teams to shine. Dillon Lee, an Alabama commit at linebacker, came up big with a blocked punt that was picked up by Cameron Gazaway and ran in from 10 yards out for a TD.

Thomas Wilson later added a punt return for 55 yards for a score, while Legrant contributed his second score of the night with a 52-yard scamper, putting Buford ahead 52-0 at the half.

With a running clock in the entire second half, Buford added one more a score on a 27-yard run from Dontravious Wilson. The Wolves ended with 250 yards rushing on just 25 carries.

Decatur tacked on a pair of TDs late in the game on passes from quarterback Vito Antinozzi. The first of those was a 35-yard strike to Perez Cowan in the third, while finding a wide-open Terryon Robinson for an 80-yard score late in the fourth.

Those two long scoring plays helped Antinozzi finish with 159 yards and two TDs on 9 of 12 attempts.