Buford's Konnor Houston (17) hits a Sonoraville player during the game on Friday night. (Photo: Brian Oliver)
BUFORD — Sonoraville traveled to Tom Riden Stadium in Buford Friday night giddy over the school’s first-ever postseason appearance and dreaming of bigger things to come. But the host Wolves quickly turned those dreams into a nightmare.
Buford (11-0) rudely welcomed the Phoenix to playoff football with a crushing 58-0, Class AAA first-round win to advance to the second round for the 15th consecutive year.
“Our kids did a great job of staying focused when we obviously outmanned the other team a little bit tonight,” said Buford head coach Jess Simpson. “They were prepared and knew what to do. I think that says a lot about our senior leadership.”
The outcome was never in doubt. The Wolves established the tone on their first possession when Donte Gordon ran untouched through a gaping hold on the right side for a 15-yard touchdown to cap a 77-yard drive and stake Buford to a 7-0 lead. The eight-play drive was evenly split between runs and passes.
“We want to be balanced,” said Simpson. “Like most offenses we want to be able to throw when we want to and not when they are making us. And other than one mental error, we executed really well on that drive.”
After Joshua Thomas extended the lead on a 1-yard TD run, Sonoraville (4-7) countered with their most serious threat of the game. Aided by a pair of personal fouls against the Wolves, the Phoenix entered Wolves territory midway through the second quarter for the only time in the game. The incursion was quickly rebuffed when Thomas picked up an Andrew Slaton fumble and raced 66 yards for his second TD to end any upset hopes.
“That was his third defensive touchdown of the year,” said Simpson. “That sucker is always in the right place at the right time. And I’m sure that was probably demoralizing for them.”
Thomas Wilson tacked on a 26-yard TD run and Montgomery VanGorder connected with Terrence Wilson on a 17-yard TD pass to give the Wolves a 35-0 halftime lead.
The second half provided more of the same as the Wolves added three more TDs and a safety to complete the rout.
“Their kids fought hard,” Simpson said. “Coach Gentry has been there eight years and this is their first time in the playoffs. He’s a great coach and their staff does a great job. We’ve got a lot of respect for them, and for making the playoffs after building the program, that’s a big deal.”
The Wolves advance to the second round and will host Woodward Academy next Friday night in Buford.
“We know it’s fixing to get a lot tougher starting next week,” said Simpson.
Thomas led the Wolves with 67 yard on five carries and a TD in limited action.
Sonoraville 0 0 0 0 — 0
Buford 14 21 16 7 — 58
Buford: Donte Gordon 15 run (Matthew Bonadies kick) 7:48
Buford: Joshua Thomas 1 run (Bonadies kick) 5:22
Buford: Thomas 66 fumble return (Bonadies kick) 7:47
Buford: Thomas Wilson 26 run (Bonadies kick) 4:00
Buford: Terrance Wilson 17 pass from Montgomery Van Gorder (Bonadies kick) 0:23
Buford: Andrew Slaton tackled for safety 10:39
Buford: Tyler Shipman 1 run (Bonadies kick) 8:25
Buford: Connor Tarleton 6 rub (Bonadies kick) 3:50
Buford: Reid Parks 11 run (Edgar Burgos kick) 1:29