Buford’s Thomas Wilson (21) looks up field for a hole in Banks County’s defense during a game earlier this season. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)
Next week’s game is big, but one more Region 7-AAA football game and a senior night celebration is on tap Friday before Buford can focus on its Nov. 8 opponent.
The top-ranked Wolves (8-0, 5-0) will honor the 24 seniors who have led the way to another banner football season in a home game with East Hall, which is 4-4 overall but just 1-4 in the region. Meanwhile, the Wolves have dominated all of their region competition and their closest margin of victory all season was 24 points over powerful Gainesville in the second week.
Most fans are already looking forward to next week’s de facto region title game with North Hall. However, Buford head coach Jess Simpson isn’t letting his team overlook the Vikings.
“They are very athletic on both sides of the ball,” Simpson said. “They are the most athletic team we’ve faced in the last month for sure so we have to be prepared for a faster speed of play than what we’ve been seeing.”
East Hall got off to a tremendous start this season and while it has struggled in region play, it has put up points all season. The Vikings average more than 32 points per game.
“They have a very good quarterback,” Simpson said. “They do a really good job of getting the ball out quick and getting it to their guys in space. Our guys will have to fly to the ball and make sure they wrap up.”
With so many lopsided scores this season, it doesn’t appear the Wolves have been truly tested in a very long time. Buford overcame three first-half turnovers against Dawson County two weeks ago, and it was still able to turn a one-score lead at the half into a 42-10 victory.
As the season winds down and his team begins to prepare for the playoffs, Simpson said the focus is making sure his team stays locked in week to week despite the mismatched opponents.
“It’s about your Mondays and Tuesdays,” Simpson said. “You have to have high intensity and competition in how you practice. That’s the way it has always been for us and that doesn’t change. We have had some very good practices so I expect my team to continue to play well.”
EAST HALL AT BUFORD
East Hall Vikings (7-AAA)
Coach: Bryan Gray
Record: 4-4, 1-4 region
Last week: Beat Banks County 33-7
Buford Wolves (7-AAA)
Coach: Jess Simpson
Record: 8-0, 5-0 region
Last week: Beat Fannin County 45-8
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Buford won 49-6 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.