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High school football notebook: Buford wins coin flip to play quarterfinal game at home

3 defending state champs left playing in third round of playoffs

POSTED: November 23, 2013 10:18 p.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

Gainesville High receiver Chastin Newman, right, gets behind South Paulding defenders Trevon Simmons, left, and Josh Hill, for a long pass reception Friday night during the first half of the Red Elephants' second-round Class AAAAA playoff game at City Park Stadium.

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One of the few uncertain moments for top-ranked Buford (12-0) came early Saturday morning with a coin flip to determine home field for Friday’s state quarterfinal game against No. 4 Carver-Columbus (11-1).

And like everything else this season, the Wolves won. As a result, the Wolves will host the Tigers on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium in another meeting of two of the more accomplished football programs in Class AAA.

Buford has won five state titles since 2007, while Carver-Columbus has been in the state quarterfinals eight consecutive seasons. This is also the rekindling of a regular matchup, even though these schools are separated by 145 miles.

The Wolves — appearing in their 14th straight quarterfinal game — have won 3 of 4 against the Tigers dating back to the first meeting between the two in 2010. Buford beat Carver-Columbus 31-7 in the quarterfinals last season, along with a 28-13 semifinal victory in the 2011 Class AA semifinals.

Buford and Carver-Columbus split regular season meetings in 2010 and 2011.

REPEAT OF HISTORY?: All three area football programs left standing in the state quarterfinals are the three city school programs that won it all in 2012. Third-ranked Gainesville (11-1), the reigning Class AAAAA champ, won handily over South Paulding in the second round and hosts Mundy’s Mill (8-4) in the state quarterfinals on Friday.

The Red Elephants are making their third consecutive state quarterfinal appearance.

Buford faces Carver-Columbus in one of Class AAA’s four quarterfinal matchups. And in Class AA, 10th-ranked Jefferson (10-2) survived a wild second-round game against Heard County on Friday, 61-57, and advances to face No. 1 Lamar County (12-0) on Friday in Barnesville.

EXTENDING HIS LEGACY: Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson’s performance in Friday’s second-round win against South Paulding only served to further all the state records he already owned.

The state’s all-time leading passer threw for 423 yards to push his season total to 3,233 yards through the air.

For his career, Watson has 12,593 passing yards with the opportunity still on the table to go over 4,000 yards passing for the second year in a row.

Against South Paulding, Watson threw for five scores to push his career total to 208 touchdowns, combined rushing and passing.

To reach 4,000 yards passing this season, Watson needs 767 more yards in the 2013 postseason.


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