BUFORD -- Every Friday, the Buford Wolves get their opponent's best shot, and every Friday, they turn them away in the same fashion - with dominant defense and a consistent ground game.
Friday night was no different.
Buford fullback Nathan Staub ran for 90 yards on one play, a touchdown run in the third quarter, and the Wolves' defense allowed just 88 in the entire game on their way to a 31-0 shutout of visiting Jefferson County in the second round of the Class AA state playoffs.
The win, the Wolves' 22nd in a row in the playoffs, advances them to the third round for the 12th consecutive season. They will face Elbert County, which won its second-round game against Cook on Friday, 28-7.
"It's a great win," coach Jess Simpson said simply after the game. "Our kids played their tails off. They competed."
Simpson was especially proud of the performance his defense had in an extremely physical game. The team allowed just 86 yards rushing and only one completion for 2 yards.
Linebacker Dillon Lee said that Friday's game was just another example of what the defense has tried to do all season.
"Our goal at the beginning of the year was just to dominate as a defense," Lee said. "That's just what we've been trying to do. Our coaches put a lot of time into breaking down our opponents' offense, and we just try to execute what they're trying to do."
The shutout was the Wolves' sixth of the season and lowered their points allowed per game to just 4.8.
Despite the wide margin of victory, however, it was clear the Wolves were getting a very physical effort from the visiting Warriors.
Despite leading the game 17-0 entering the second half, the Wolves had a disastrous opening possession.
After returner C.J. Moore took the kickoff back to the 50-yard line, Buford was penalized three times on the drive and ended it with a bad snap on a punt.
The Wolves recovered the fumble, but Jefferson County took control of the ball at the Buford 32-yard line.
But Buford's defense stepped up again when defensive back Paris Head intercepted a pass on fourth down.
On the second play of the ensuing drive, Staub broke a tackle and raced 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Wolves an insurmountable 24-0 lead.
"The offensive line just had incredible blocking on that play, and the whole night really," said Staub, who finished with 133 yards on five carries. "I was just lucky enough to break a tackle, and I just hoped that no one would catch me."
"That was awesome," Simpson said with a laugh. "I saw him come out of the pile, but I didn't really see him break any tackles, but he can do it. He's been doing it all year."
Running back Dontravious Wilson added 87 yards and two touchdowns, including a slick 35-yarder in the second quarter to put the Wolves ahead 14-0.
Taking the handoff, Wilson went right, broke a tackle and juked one last defender to make it to the end zone for the score.
"Dontravious has really come on this season," Staub said. "As the season goes on, Dontravious just makes more and more runs that just kind of make your jaw drop, which is awesome."
Running back Andre Johnson added 49 yards in the game and scored Buford's first touchdown, a 7-yard run, in the first quarter.
Jefferson County's leading rusher was Dontavious Kitchens, who ran for 36 yards in the game.
Warrior quarterback Lafayell Williams ran for 27 yards and passed the ball three times, recording one completion for 2 yards.
Next week, the Wolves will get Elbert County, and they can be sure they'll get the team's best shot.
"We get everyone's Super Bowl effort," Simpson said. "Our kids know that, you could see that tonight. They come out here and let it all hang out. We've just got to do the same."