Buford's Dontravious Wilson
CLEVELAND -- White County head coach Bill Ballard never got a chance to face Buford during his four-year tenure at Peachtree Ridge.
But his move to White County and reclassification gave him that chance on Friday night.
Facing the Wolves in a critical Region 7-AAA contest, Ballard's team found itself in an early hole and never was able to climb out as Buford ran away with a 49-14 win.
White County had no answer for Buford's running game as the Wolves rolled up 359 yards on the ground, getting all seven of their touchdowns via the ground attack.
"I am just tickled to death," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "This was easily our best offensive performance of the year. Our (offensive) backs and O-line are really starting to play well. They're hitting their blocks and are learning what to do when they get to the second level."
Buford running back Dontravious Wilson led the assault, carrying the ball 18 times for 212 yards and two TDs. His first score came early in the first period on a 14-yard run, while his second TD late in the waning minutes of the second quarter of 31 yards put the Wolves comfortably ahead at 21-7.
"He's physical, has a nice burst and did some good things tonight," Simpson said of Wilson.
White County (4-2, 2-1) came into the game averaging 32 points per game, while the Buford defense hadn't allowed any points in its last three games. Something had to give on Friday, and even though the Warriors posted the second-highest point total against Buford this season, Simpson was still pleased with his defensive effort.
"We hadn't played a true option offense in a couple years," Simpson said. "We were able to win the first five minutes of each half and came up with a big stop late in the first half."
The first five minutes did belong to Buford (5-1, 3-0) as the Wolves opened up a 14-0 lead, starting with an 11-play, 65-yard drive on their opening possession. That drive ended with a 5-yard run from Donte Gordon and Dontravious Wilson's 14-yard TD run on Buford's next drive pushed the lead to 14-0.
The Warriors answered on their next possession, putting together a 13-play, 80-yard drive, ending with a 4-yard TD run from quarterback Will Brock. Brock was the offensive standout for White County, rushing for 98 yards on 14 carries and both scores.
Buford carried a 21-7 lead into the locker room at the half after Dontravious Wilson's second TD of the night late in the second period.
White County took the kickoff to open the second half and had its drive halted by an interception from Thomas Wilson. That opened the door for two more scoring drives for Buford, getting one TD on an 11-yard run by Thomas Wilson and another on a nice 16-yard scramble from quarterback Taylor Mitchell.
"I know most of the guys on that (coaching) staff and have a lot of respect for them," Ballard said. "Buford kept running players in and out of the lineup tonight and that's something most AAA teams can't do. We're a young team with eight sophomores on defense and we got pushed around tonight."
Trailing 35-7 early in the fourth, Brock briefly sparked White County with a 31-yard TD run, but the Wolves quickly extinguished any hopes of a Warrior miracle with 14 unanswered points on TD runs from Joshua Thomas and Bryson Jordan.