OAKWOOD — Buford was coming off an easy region-opening win last week and was headed into what many expected to be a much tougher match up with West Hall, which is off to its best start in over a decade on Friday.
It did not turn out the way the Wolves expected or the way the Spartans wanted, though.
Buford dominated and matched the same 63-0 shutout as it had a week ago against Banks County.
“I wasn’t expecting that tonight,” Buford head coach Jess Simpson said of the decisive score. “They look like a good club and they’re very improved but they just caught us on a night that we were emotionally ready and mentally ready and things really went our way.”
Things certainly did go their way offensively and defensively.
Buford (5-0, 2-0 Region 7-AAA) shut down what has been a very strong rushing attack for West Hall (4-2, 2-1 Region 7-AAA). The Wolves only allowed 47 yards on the ground and 57 through the air and when the Spartans did threaten to cut the Buford 14-point lead in half late in the first quarter Tre Neal came up with a big interception that the Wolves turned into a touchdown two plays later on an 84-yard TD pass from Taylor Mitchell to Joshua Thomas in which Thomas got great blocking and made several impressive moves after catching the screen pass.
No single Buford player had more than three carries on the ground as they racked up 233 rushing yards and once again the Wolves had passes completed by three different quarterbacks going a combined 8 of 10 for 261 yards and four TDs, two by Mitchell.
Another big turnover by West Hall resulted in Thomas scoring his second TD of the game as he was able to scoop up a fumble in the backfield and take it 30 yards for the score. The PAT gave the Wolves a 35-0 lead with 5:59 left in the half and put the game out of reach for the Spartans.
Simpson talked again about the great practice and effort he has seen out of his entire team recently.
“The last four weeks since the Gainesville game we’ve had some of the best practices I’ve seen since I’ve been at Buford,” said Simpson. “We’ve had some of the best leadership and we are just at the halfway point of the regular season. Things just kind of rolled and went our way tonight but it’s a credit to the way our kids prepared.”
BUFORD 63, WEST HALL 0
Buford 14 35 7 7 - 63
West Hall 0 0 0 0 - 0
Buford: Thomas Wilson 14 run (Matthew Bonadies kick) 5:31
Buford: Zavier Hoxie 9 run (Bonadies kick) 2:13
Buford: Joshua Thomas 84 pass from Taylor Mitchell (Bonadies kick) 10:22
Buford: Xavier Gantt 29 run (Bonadies kick) 8:17
Buford: Thomas 30 fumble return (Bonadies kick) 5:59
Buford: David Curry 32 pass from Mitchell (Bonadies kick) 3:47
Buford: Steven Reese 23 pass from Montgomery Van Gorder (Bonadies kick) :42
Buford: Evyn Cooper 68 run (Bonadies kick) 10:00
Buford: Cameron Poole 60 pass from Luke Humphrey (Bonadies kick) 9:25