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PREVIEW: Hancock Central at Buford

Buford's Korie Rogers

Buford's Korie Rogers

Buford Wolves (7-AAA)

Coach: Jess Simpson

Record: 1-1

Last week: Lost to Gainesville 19-15

Hancock Central Bulldogs (7-A)

Coach: Zachary Harris

Record: 2-0

Last week: Beat East Laurens 26-21

It’s been a nightmarish start to the season for the Wolves, who already had to replace nearly everyone off last year’s state runner-up team, thanks to a rash of injury problems. Head coach Jess Simpson, who first began his Buford career in 1995, said the current health issues are the worst he’s witnessed.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, definitely not since I’ve been here,” Simpson said. “I guess it happens. We’re dealing with it.”

Simpson and his staff have patched together the starting lineups, hopefully fielding a well-enough team to handle Hancock Central, an unbeaten Class A team. The Bulldog don’t have a strong football history — their last playoff berth and winning record came in 2006 — but are off to a great start this season. They beat Randolph-Clay 35-8 in the opener, showcasing an offense that can put up points.

That will be a challenge to a Buford defense led by Korie Rogers, a top college prospect who had a key interception last week in a rare Wolves’ loss to Gainesville. The setback ended Buford’s 43-game home winning streak.

Last meeting: First meeting

Directions to Buford High School: I-985 north to Ga. Highway 20 exit, turn left. Turn right on Buford Highway to Robert Bell Parkway and turn left.