Elbert County at Buford preview

Buford’s Jordan Perlotte

Buford’s Jordan Perlotte

Elbert County (8-AAA)

Coach: Sid Fritts

2012 Record: 5-5

Last week: Did not play

Buford (7-AAA)

Coach: Jess Simpson

2012 Record: 12-3

Last week: Did not play

Jess Simpson remembered one thing: Last year’s game was close. Well, by Buford standards.

In his Wolves’ first game as a member of Class AAA, Buford travelled to Elbert County and hung on for a 14-3 win in the Granite Bowl.

And a year later, he doesn’t expect much different, especially facing an offensive and defensive front of six-foot-plus linemen.

“They might be as big and physical as we are going to see,” the Buford head coach said. “They have a really big front. We are certainly very nervous about them.”

But while Buford certainly is not out-prepared to face any opponent, the mantra at the football power remains a focus on itself. Heading into the fall camp and full pads, Simpson praised his team on not turning in a practice he deemed “bad.” That changed after the start of school.

“This last two weeks has been a little bit tougher,” Simpson said, noting struggles with mental preparation. “Our kids have worked hard. We have to improve on the execution side of things. We don’t have the consistency that I want us to have.”

And, like always, he expects more of a Buford football team.

“Certainly after watching all of those high school games on Saturday, I certainly want to see if we can not have the mistakes,” Simpson said.

But not all is wrong. Rather, Simpson said the emphasis on playing so many of his players on both sides of the ball allows younger ones and perhaps, non-starters, a chance to shine. In the two weeks, Simpson said he watched his backup fullback and defensive end Jordan Perlotte stand out.

“He’s been kind of the surprise of camp,” Simpson said. “I knew he could play a little bit. He’s playing really well on both sides of the ball. I am excited.”

Last meeting: Buford won 14-3 last year

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.