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Buford 21, Charlton County 14: Wolves ease by old foe

POSTED: December 12, 2007 7:06 a.m.

Class AA top-ranked Buford gained a little revenge at ‘The Swamp' in Folkston on Friday night ousting three-time defending Class AA champion and second-ranked Charlton County, 21-14.

Buford (13-0), which had its three-year run of championships ended by the Indians in 2003, returned the favor, halting Charlton County's (11-1) school record 26-game home winning streak.

Up next for the Wolves is a date at the Georgia Dome against last year's co-defending champion Dublin in the semifinal round.

The Irish defeated Pepperell 27-13 in the Shamrock Bowl.

"We played as hard as we could defensively," said Charlton County coach Rich McWhorter. "It was our speed against their size and they have some pretty good speed as well.

"They just lined up foot-to-foot and played power football. That was tough sledding for us."

For Charlton County, the loss was the first since a 29-22 setback at Fitzgerald in 2005 - a span of 36 games. The last home defeat came at the hands of the Hurricanes also, 26-22, in 2004.

In a battle of the top two programs in Class AA since Buford's climb in 2002, the Wolves relied on a ball-control offense in the first half to build a 14-0 advantage.

Charlton's only score of the first half came on a 90-yard kick return to cut the margin to 14-7 at the half.

"They [Wolves] stayed in manageable third down situations on those two scoring drives," McWhorter said. "With their size they were able topound the ball at us and pick up the first downs, move the chains and control the clock."

After a scoreless first quarter the Wolves took their third possession of the game 80 yards in 14 time-consuming plays eating up 6:15 of the first-half clock. Buford converted on four straight third downs, setting up a first-and-goal at the Charlton seven.

Demetris Murray, who surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season during the third quarter, scored the first of his two touchdowns with a seven-yard run off left tackle with 8:35 left in the half.

Following a second straight three-and-out by the Indians' offense, the Wolves marched 63 yards in 11 plays eating up 5:25 of the clock and taking a 14-0 lead with :40.4 left in the half.

Quarterback Twoey Hosch hit wideout Kody Case on an 11-yard slant pattern, the only pass play in the drive, for the two score lead.

Charlton's Rishawn Edwards fielded the ensuing kick at his own 10, got a crushing block around the Indians' 22, and set sail unscathed to the end zone scoring just 12 seconds after the Wolves had extended their lead. Kevin Webb kicked the PAT to cut the margin to 14-7 before the break.

After snapping the ball just 12 times in the first half, compared to 32 times for the Wolves and a nine-minute difference (16:25-7:35) in time of possession, Charlton County looked poised to tie the score in the third quarter. The Indians took the opening kick of the second half from its own 12 to the Buford 6-yard line in 17 plays. The drive chewed up 10:29 of the third quarter clock, but the Indians were hold out of the end zone.

Buford's next possession was nearly as long as Charlton's with a 15-play, 9:31 drive that ended with a missed 41-yard field goal with 4:05 left in the game.

Charlton fumbled the ball away three plays later and an alert Wolves' defender pounced on the ball at the Indians' 15. Murray punched the ball in three plays later with a 10-yard run off left tackle for a 21-7 advantage with 1:59 remaining.



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