Buford’s Evyn Cooper (6) runs out of the grasp of Banks County’s Demetrius Walker (4) for a long gain during Friday night’s game at Buford. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)
BUFORD — According to Buford head coach Jess Simpson, his team had its best week of practice coming off a bye week heading into a region-opening matchup with Banks County.
It certainly showed as the Wolves completely dominated the Leopards in a 63-0 victory on homecoming.
“Our kids have shown a lot of maturity.” said Simpson. “What I challenged them with is that we just keep improving because our schedule gets tougher in the next few weeks.”
The Wolves (3-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA) put 35 points on the board in the first quarter alone with scoring drives of no more than four plays, all of which started in Banks territory. Two of the Wolves’ possessions started inside the Leopards’ 10-yard line. The first time Buford took over on Banks’ six-yard line after a punt return by Thomas Wilson. Two plays later, Ryan Coleman took it in from a yard out for the touchdown.
Later in the quarter Buford took over on the Leopards’ one-yard line as a result of a fumbled snap on a punt attempt. On the next play, Wilson scored, giving Buford a 28-0 lead with 4:25 left to play in the opening quarter.
Banks (0-5, 0-2 Region 7-AAA) could not get anything going against the stout Wolves defense. In the first half the Leopards actually had minus-36 yards of offense as opposed to Buford, which racked up 335 yards.
Buford was able to get many of its backups in the game in the second half. A total of 13 different Wolves had rushing attempts overall, and three different quarterbacks combined to go 9-for-9 passing for 172 yards and one TD in the game.
Evyn Cooper had 81 yards on the ground on seven carries, and Xavier Gantt had 87 yards rushing and a score on just four carries, including a 64-yard TD in the third quarter. Joshua Thomas also had two TDs on just five attempts on the ground.
Buford will travel to West Hall next week, and Simpson is ready for the challenge.
“We’ve had a chance to rest up and heal up, and we got to play a lot of guys tonight,” Simpson said. “I’m looking forward to next week to see what we can do.”
BUFORD 63, BANKS CO 0
Banks Co 0 0 0 0 - 0
Buford 35 14 7 7 - 63
Buford: Ryan Coleman 1 run (Matthew Bonadies kick) 9:56
Buford: Joshua Thomas 2 run (Bonadies kick) 7:28
Buford: Isaac Mauta 39 pass from Montgomery VanGorder (Bonadies kick) 6:26
Buford: Thomas Wilson 1 run (Bonadies kick) 4:25
Buford: Donte’ Gordon 4 run (Bonadies kick) 2:03
Buford: Joshua Thomas 4 run (Bonadies kick) 7:51
Buford: Xavier Gantt 64 run (Bonadies kick) 4:02
Buford: Martin Mangram 49 run (Jarrett Burgos kick) 3:43
Buford: Damario Lott 1 run (Burgos kick) 5:34