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PREVIEW: Buford at Banks County

Buford's #8 Deion King

Buford's #8 Deion King

Buford Wolves (7-AAA)

Coach: Jess Simpson

Record: 2-1 (0-0)

Last week: Had a bye

Banks County Leopards (7-AAA)

Coach: Philip Jones

Record: 1-3 (0-1)

Last week: Lost 33-20 to West Hall

Rested and back on track after a more familiar lopsided win two weeks ago, Buford begins its new journey in its new region Friday against the Leopards of Banks County.

After the stunning early-season home loss in Week 2 to Gainesville, the young Buford team righted itself heading into last week’s bye with a 53-0 domination of Hancock County.

Before the season, head coach Jess Simpson called moving up to Class AAA the “next step” in the growth of Buford football and Friday is another step with the start of region play.

In this century, Buford has never ended a season without a region title and now looks to keep that streak alive against a bigger set of schools.

Even with the early loss, Buford is making its name this year on defense. After three games, the unit is allowing a paltry 11 points a game, holding teams to an average of one touchdown. Buford has forced seven turnovers.

Deion King caused one of those fumbles and in three games has 15 tackles, two for a loss. The junior linebacker, like most of the Wolves starters, is racking up his production in his first full-time varsity season.

And Friday against Banks County, the Wolves’ defense faces a team that is averaging less than 14 points a game in its three straight losses which includes a 14-7 loss to Class A Athens Christian.

Like the defense, the offense is young, but the Wolves rely heavily on experienced running back Dontravious Wilson. The senior back is averaging 7.7 yards a carry in three games and has four of Buford’s seven rushing touchdowns.

Last meeting: Buford won 56-0 in 2005.

Directions to Banks County High School: I-85 north to exit 149, go left on Highway 441 North. Continue four miles and turn left on 164, school is on left in Homer.