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Buford wins with 'fast and physical' style

GAINESVILLE -- Buford started fast and finished strong on Friday night as the Wolves powered their way to a 49-6 win over East Hall. The win bumped Buford's record up to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in Region 7-AAA, putting the Wolves in position for the region's second seed with a win next week at home against North Hall.

"We weren't perfect tonight but we were fast and physical," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "We did a lot of good things. This is playoff football and it's time to find out what were made of."

Buford pulled no surprises with its offense as it running game continued to eat up turf, gaining 325 yards. Thomas Wilson was the top yard man for the Wolves with 98 yards and one touchdown on three carries, while Zavior Hoxie picked up 57 yards and one TD on 10 carries.

Hoxie was needed to pick up the work load as Dontravious Wilson left the game in the first half after just three carries, spending the rest of the night on the sidelines being supported by a pair of crutches.

"He's a really talented running back but he can also make plays in the passing game," Simpson said of Hoxie.

Hoxie's night ended with two TDs as he also hauled in a 26-yard scoring pass from Montgomery VanGorder in the third quarter. VanGorder, who is one half of Buford's quarterback rotation with Taylor Mitchell, put together a strong night with 101 yards passing with one TD on 5 of 6 passes, while Mitchell tallied 30 yards and a score on 2 of 4 attempts.

The defense was also strong as the Wolves recorded four sacks of East Hall quarterbacks, two from Mikey Bart and one each from Bryson Jordan and Donte Gordon.

"We played real well up front," Simpson said. "Bart really brought some pressure, something that he has been doing all year."

The Wolves opened the game on defense but Terrance Wilson intercepted a Zach Groover pass on the game's first play, giving Buford the ball on the Viking 21. The drive stalled, forcing the Wolves to settle for a 43-yard field goal from Matthew Bonadies, but the kick sailed wide right. It would be one of the few miscues on the night for the Buford offense.

On its next possession, Buford went 36 yards on six plays for the game's first TD, getting the points on a 1-yard run from Hoxie. Buford's next points came from its defense when Bart's sack of East Hall's Devin Watson forced a fumble. The loose ball was jumped on by Gordon in the end zone for the TD, extending the lead to 14-0.

Buford put together two more scoring drives in the second quarter. The first of those needed just one play as

Wilson raced in 77 yards on the first play of the second quarter, while the second covered 34 yards on six plays, ending when Mitchell hit Isaac Nauta in the back right corner of the end zone on a four-yard TD pass.

The second half was more of the same as the Buford defense continued to keep the Vikings from establishing and consistency on offese, while the offense added three more TDs. Quinn Davis ended Buford's longest drive of the night (80 yards on four plays) with a 26-yard TD run, while Hoxie hauled in VanGorder's 26-yard pass for a score. East Hall (4-5, 2-5) put its points on the board in the fourth on a 5-yard TD run from Quay Jarrells.