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Buford handles rain and opening foe with ease, topping Sonoraville 58-0

Wolves will play host to Woodward Academy in 2nd round

POSTED: November 15, 2013 10:40 p.m.

BUFORD — The offense that moved with ease all year did so again. The defense that gave up yards grudgingly throughout the regular season was just as stingy in the first round of the state playoffs.

In short, Buford did what Buford does.

The Wolves blew through Sonoraville 58-0 on a chilly, rainy Friday night at Tom Riden Stadium and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the 15th straight season.

“I thought we were very businesslike,” Buford coach Jess Simpson said. “I was kind of glad it was cold and rainy, because we haven’t had to deal with that, and for the most part we took care of the ball, and I think that’s important. You never know in the next couple of weeks when it’s going to be 32 degrees and sleeting.”

The defending state champion Wolves will play host to Woodward Academy next week in the second round.

Against Sonoraville, which was making the first state playoff appearance in its eight-year history, Buford was especially stout on defense. The Wolves (11-0, No. 1 seed in Region 7-AAA) entered the game surrendering just 58 yards per game on the ground and improved on that with a dominant effort. The Phoenix (4-7, No. 4 5-AAA) netted only 14 yards on 37 carries, beset by 10 runs that resulted in lost yardage.

That set up the Buford offense for easy success, as the Wolves started seven of their nine possessions in Sonoraville territory. They wasted no time exploiting those opportunities.

Donte Gordon started the scoring for Buford on a 13-yard touchdown run with 7:48 left in the first quarter. Joshua Thomas followed less than three minutes later with a 1-yard scoring plunge.

Sonoraville had its best opportunity to score midway through the second quarter when a pair of Buford penalties moved the Phoenix into Wolves territory. The drive was thwarted however, when Thomas scooped up a Sonoraville fumble and ran 76 yards untouched for a touchdown that put the Wolves up 21-0 with 7:47 left in the second quarter.

From there, the rout was on.

“We know it’s fixing to get a lot tougher starting next week,” Simpson said. “But we did what we’re supposed to do. We had a great week of practice. The kids are having fun, they’re enjoying it, they’re not tired of it yet, so that’s a good sign.”

Thomas Wilson scored on a 26-yard touchdown run with 4:00 left in the second quarter, and the Wolves closed a quick, seven-play, 59-yard drive with a 17-yard scoring toss from Taylor Mitchell to Terrance Wilson at the end of the half.

Playing the majority of the game with highly favorable field position, Buford’s offense stats weren’t gaudy — but they do demonstrate the Wolves’ depth, balance and efficiency. Eleven different Wolves carried the ball and six ran for touchdowns as part of a 28-carry, 193-yard rushing performance.

They didn’t need to pass often, but were successful when they did, as Taylor Mitchell and Montgomery VanGorder combined to complete 9 of 10 passes for 101 yards.

Thomas led all rushers with 68 yards on five carries, and Mitchell completed all five of his attempts for 67 yards.

Tyler Shipman, Connor Tarleton and Reid Parks each added scores in the second half as the teams played through a running clock.

Quarterback Cody Long was Sonoraville’s most active offensive weapon, but finished with only 1 yard rushing on 17 carries after losing 36 yards on a sack and an errant snap.



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