Photo: David McGregor Buford running back Dontravious Wilson (1) tip toes down the sideline as a West Hall defender misses a tackle during the game on Friday night.
BUFORD -- It seems a rare loss at home about a month ago lit a fire under Buford's football team, and it is the Wolves' opponents who have been feeling burnt ever since.
Friday night's victim was West Hall as Dontravious Wilson ran for three touchdowns and 204 of Buford's 375 yards on the ground in the Wolves' 61-0 mauling of the visiting Spartans at Tom Riden Stadium.
The win gave head coach Jess Simpson the 100th victory of his career, and the way Buford has been playing lately is something he is cherishing as much as the framed certificate given to him by athletics director Dexter Wood after the game.
Since that loss to Gainesville back on Sept. 7, the fourth-ranked Wolves (4-1, 2-0 in Region 7-AAA) have outscored their next three opponents by a combined score of 167-0.
"Overall, the way they played hard, the way they were physical, this is a fun team to coach," Simpson said. "They're doing a lot of good stuff. They're getting better every week. It seems like the kids just flew around. They really wanted to get out there and play well (Friday) night."
About the only thing that could stop Buford in the first half that ended with the Wolves leading 26-0 was Buford.
A holding penalty negated a Dontravious Wilson touchdown run on Buford's first possession, forcing the Wolves to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Matt Bonadies.
Another penalty on another deep drive into West Hall territory forced another field goal attempt that came up just short from 40 yards.
Two more holding infractions on the Wolves' last possession of the half forced them as deep as their own 20 with less than a minute to go.
Still, they managed to march all the way to the Spartans' 7-yard line on six Taylor Mitchell completions before tacking on another Bonadies field goal, this time from 25 yards, at the buzzer.
In between, however, Buford did little wrong.
A Bryson Jordan interceptions and 15-yard punt return from Shawn Reynolds each gave the Wolves a short field, which set up touchdown runs of 28 and 32 yards from Dontravious Wilson to extend Buford's lead to 17-0 by the end of the first quarter.
"I told the line (that) as long as they're going to be physical, we're going to be all right," Wilson said. "That comes with practice. At practice, we just work on being physical and attacking and just running hard."
Thomas Wilson then got in on the act late in the first half, fielding a West Hall punt at his own 33 and weaving his way through the Spartans coverage for a 67-yard touchdown to make the score 23-0 with 2:39 left in the after the snap of the extra point went awry.
Buford and Wilson kept on the attack after halftime, with the 5-foot-11, 215-pound senior took the second snap of the third quarter and dashed 84 yards for a score that pushed the lead to 33-0 just 1:12 after the second-half kickoff.
But that was just the appetizer to what would be a feast of points during a third quarter that saw the Wolves run just five offensive plays, but find the end zone five times.
Actually, only three of those scores came on offense, with Montgomery VanGorder hitting Korie Rogers on a 7-yard TD pass and an 8-yard scoring run from Zavior Hoxie to add to Wilson's early score.
Buford secondary also terrorized West Hall quarterback Zach English for a pair of interceptions that it eventually took to the house.
Tre' Neal got the first pick-six off a deflection and 50-yard return with 6:48 left in the third quarter, while Ryan Coleman ended the Spartans' next drive with his interception an 64-yard return for a score with 4:34 left in the period.
By the time the quarter finally ended, Buford had a 61-0 lead, and a running clock in the fourth quarter.