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Buford takes first step toward another title
Wolves overwhelm Westminster 42-0 to claim Region 6-AA crown
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BUFORD —- That's one title down, one to go for the Buford High football team.

Class AA's second-ranked Wolves shut down No. 7 Westminster on Friday 42-0 for the Region 6-AA championship at Tom Riden Stadium. It was the first in a rather short checklist for Georgia's perennial powerhouse.

The main goal of course is to end the season just as Buford (9-1) has the last three years, with the AA state title. The next step is a home date at 7:30 p.m. Friday against the fourth seed, Hart County, from Region 8-AA.

"Our goal is to win state championships," Wolves junior lineman Kurt Freitag said. "So whatever helps us reach that is what we want. Region titles are nice but we want more."

Friday's game was a rematch of a Week 3 showdown that the Wolves won 32-10 in more or less a defensive battle. Buford showed the best of both worlds this time with 455 yards of offense while it allowed the Wildcats (7-3) just 107 yards. That nearly equaled Westminster's total yardage on punts (100).

Eric Barr scored twice in the first half and junior Andre Johnson scored on a short run in the decisive second quarter for Buford, which won its 10th region title in 11 years.

"We all did what we were supposed to do," said Barr, one of 12 Buford seniors. "This was a game where our seniors had to show leadership after missing the title last year. Every play for us is physically and mentally tough. That's what we need this time of year."

Barr had quite a game, in the second quarter alone. The speedy senior ran three times for 82 yards and touchdowns of 35 and 42 yards. On the second, he bounced off a pair of Westminster tacklers just past the line of scrimmage before he scampered into the end zone.

"Our running backs coaches talked this week about yards after contact," Buford coach Jess Simpson said. "I don't know what they told our kids but whatever it was, it worked."

Dominique Swope, another senior, broke the game open with a 61-yard touchdown run on Buford's first play of the second half. Ryan Mack added a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter, and Matthew Sciarra had a 19-yard touchdown run midway through the final period.

Defensively, Buford was Buford. The Wolves gave up just 61 yards in the first half and gave up only two plays longer than 10 yards. Westminster averaged less than 4 yards per play in the opening quarter and 3.5 in the game.

"We felt like this was the most complete game we've played this year," Simpson said. "We are the type of team that likes to peak this time of year. We really gained momentum two weeks ago against GAC (a 38-7 victory), and we picked that up here in the second half. We still are shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties (two lost fumbles and 90 yards in penalties)."

Westminster will play host to the No. 3 seed from 8-AA next week.


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