As coach of both opponents Buford and Washington County last year, St. Pius’ Paul Standard has a unique perspective on tonight’s Class AAA state title clash.
Standard, whose Golden Lions lost in the quarterfinals this year, beat Washington County in last year’s quarterfinals and lost to Buford in the state championship game. Standard breaks down both teams and gives his thoughts to what each has to do to win.
Their offensive line is tremendous. They do a good job getting a hat on a hat. They do a good job running the ball and punishing a defense. That’s big for the ground game. The name of the game is running the ball.
WASHINGTON COUNTY DEFENSE
They are very athletic and very fast. Last year against us they did a great job stopping our option game. They are very sound and well-coached. I remember how fast they were. Their recovery speed was incredible.
WASHINGTON COUNTY OFFENSE
What I remember is lighting in a jug. They can explode anytime, anywhere. Their offense can score multiple touchdowns in a matter of minutes and put the game out of hand. Their offensive explosiveness caused us to go for it with fourth-and-1 from our own 29 because they were up 14-3. We had to change field position.
To me, the defense is what makes the Buford football program. Their defense is head and shoulders above everyone else in all classifications. They do a good preparing. Second, they have great personnel. They key is they are so well-coached. You don’t get them out of position very much. You have to be on your A game.
You’ve got to play your best game and keep the football. Because their offense will wear you down and they put people away in the second half. You can’t give them anything easy.
KEYS TO BEATING
You have to keep the offense off the field. You can’t give up big and easy plays. You have to make them earn it. You have to keep them off the field. You have to match them score for score.
PLAYERS YOU HAVE
TO STOP ON BUFORD
I don’t know if there’s one. They have so many good running backs. Defensively, you have to block them up front and their Mike linebacker Korie Rogers. He’s a really good player.
PLAYERS YOU HAVE
TO STOP ON
I’m not going to say stop their quarterback, but you have to at least slow him down. He’s a great player. You can’t let him dictate the pace of the game.
Since I live in Buford, I better say Buford. I think it will be an exciting game. I’m an offensive guy, but defense wins championships. They play great defense. I’ll say Buford 24-14.