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No. 1 Buford shuts out No. 3 GAC 28-0

Staff Photo: John Bohn GAC running back Kyle Scales (17) is tackled by Buford linebacker Darrian Smith (26) during the first quarter of Friday's game.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford defensive back Paris Head (23) intercepts a pass intended for GAC wide receiver Peter Whiteneck (3) during the first quarter of Friday's game.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford tail back Darrian Smith (26) rushes the ball past GAC linebacker DaSean Daniels (24) during the first quarter of Friday evening's game.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford wide receiver Nathan Staub (33) rushes for a gain while being pursued by GAC linebacker Chris Williams (8) during the first quarter of Friday evening's game.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford's Dequan Clark (90) gives chase to GAC quarterback Delano Spencer (2) during the second half of Friday evening's game. Buford defeated GAC 28-0.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford tailback Andre Johnson (32) rushes for his second touchdown of the first quarter against GAC during Friday's game. 

Staff Photo: John Bohn GAC running back Kyle Scales (17) is tackled by Buford linebacker Darrian Smith (26) during the first quarter of Friday's game. Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford defensive back Paris Head (23) intercepts a pass intended for GAC wide receiver Peter Whiteneck (3) during the first quarter of Friday's game. Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford tail back Darrian Smith (26) rushes the ball past GAC linebacker DaSean Daniels (24) during the first quarter of Friday evening's game. Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford wide receiver Nathan Staub (33) rushes for a gain while being pursued by GAC linebacker Chris Williams (8) during the first quarter of Friday evening's game. Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford's Dequan Clark (90) gives chase to GAC quarterback Delano Spencer (2) during the second half of Friday evening's game. Buford defeated GAC 28-0. Staff Photo: John Bohn Buford tailback Andre Johnson (32) rushes for his second touchdown of the first quarter against GAC during Friday's game. 

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BUFORD -- Buford has faced two of its biggest challengers for the Class AA state championship this season.

The four-time defending state champions defeated No. 4 Carver-Columbus in the second game of the season with a convincing win.

It was the same story on Friday when Buford cruised to a 28-0 victory over No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian. It was the first time since 2003 that GAC has been shut out.

"I'm pretty tickled with how the defense played," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said.

The win locked up the Region 6-AA, Division A title for Buford. The Wolves will host a region play-in game in two weeks. The victory was also Buford's 12th straight over GAC and the Wolves lead the all-time series 15-2.

Buford (9-0, 3-0 sub-region) is trying to become the first Georgia school to win five straight state championships in football.

The Wolves seemed to have the recipe for success. With a roster filled with Division I college prospects, they are scoring 46 points a game and have allowed just 34 points all season.

GAC (7-1, 2-1) was the Wolves' fifth shutout of the season and first-team defense has only allowed one score.

"I guess the best thing for us would have been for someone else to get on the bus and call plays tonight," GAC head coach Tim Cokely said. "I didn't give us a the best chance offensively."

The Spartans managed just 102 yards of total offense and five first downs.

GAC only crossed midfield once and that was for one play in the final six minutes of the game. Their biggest gain of the game was a 19-yard pass by Delano Spencer to Jeremy McGriff.

"Our goal is dominate all year," Buford defensive end Kurt Freitag said. "We have to make that happen every game."

Buford scored twice in a two-and-a-half minute span to start the game. The Wolves opened the game with a nine-play, 72-yard drive that Andre Johnson finished with an 8-yard TD run.

Paris Head, who also had an interception, had a 30-yard punt return to set up Johnson's second TD on a 10-yard run. Johnson was the game's leading rusher with 89 yards on nine carries.

"That was huge," Simpson said. "We wanted to start fast. The offense did a great job capitalizing when we gave them a short field. You couldn't have scripted a better start I don't think."

Nathan Staub scored a TD on a nine-yard run with 4:14 left in the half to push Buford to a 21-0 lead.

"We came out running the ball hard and running on all cylinders," Buford offensive lineman Vadal Alexander said.

That was all the cushion Buford needed. GAC settled down in the second half, but could never make enough plays. Lavondre Nelson was held to 28 yards rushing as GAC gained 46 yards on the ground. Spencer was 7 of 15 for 56 yards.

Buford added its final score in the final minutes of the game on Dontravious Wilson's 6-yard touchdown run.

"You learn more in a game like this than in a game when you score a bunch of points," Cokely said. "We've just got to go back to work and get better."