BUFORD —It’s hard to say what has gotten the best of Lovett’s football team the past three years — Buford High’s offense or its defense. It didn’t seem to matter on Friday night as Class AA’s top-ranked Wolves beat the Lions for the third time in 10 months, this time 41-0 at Tom Riden Stadium.
Cody Getz scored three touchdowns, and Storm Johnson ran for 159 yards and two scores on 13 carries. Buford (3-0, 1-0 Region 6-AA) scored on its first seven possessions and held Lovett (1-2, 0-1) to just 161 yards of total offense.
The game was a rematch of last year’s 50-0 Buford victory in the Class AA championship game. The Wolves haven’t allowed a Lovett score since Nov. 10, 2006 in a 42-14 victory.
Buford held the Lions to just 75 yards in the first half while the offense racked up 307.
"Our guys have been playing hard every week," said Josh Rudnik, who caught four passes for 110 yards and also had an interception. "We really wanted to come out and win this game and go for the shutout."
Buford ran 52 plays compared to just 37 for the Lions. None was more electrifying than Johnson’s 97-yard dash in the third quarter for the Wolves’ final score of the game. That followed two touchdown runs by Getz, who finished with 131 yards on just nine carries.
"They make our job a lot easier," said Buford lineman Trevor Warbington, one of four new starters on the offensive line.
"We have a lot of brand new guys who have come a long way in a short time."
The feeling goes the other way as well, Johnson said.
"We really performed well," he said. "Our line was perfect on blocking, and our fullbacks did a great job as well. It’s hard for a defense to focus when we have so many people and weapons."
Buford scored on each of its four first-half possessions. Daniel Villafuerte kicked a 25-yard field goal on the opening drive and added a 37-yard kick to close the second-quarter scoring.
Rudnik’s interception on the Lions’ second possession set up Buford’s first touchdown. Getz scored from 5 yards out to cap a seven-play, 50-yard drive. After Lovett went three-and-out on its next series, Johnson scored on a 20-yard cutback for a 16-0 Buford lead.
Rudnik also set up Villafuerete’s first field goal with a 70-yard catch from Michael May on Buford’s first play.
"The things we focus on are the intangibles, our speed of play and our toughness," said Buford coach Jess Simpson, now 42-2 since 2005. "Our kids really are playing fast and physical and that’s what we like to see. This group, if they stay humble and keep improving, can be pretty good. That’s a credit to our players and our coaches. They have worked pretty hard in these first seven weeks since we started practice."
NOTES: Buford has won 40 consecutive regular season games and its last 52 in region play. ... The Wolves improved to 5-2 all-time against Lovett. The last lost to the Lions was in 1971. ... Wolves’ quarterback Michael May is now 23-of-26 on the season. He was 9-of-11 for 173 yards Friday. ... Buford is off next week and is eager for the rest before playing at Decatur on Sept. 26. "Our trip to Texas (to play Mansfield Timberview) took a lot out of us," Simpson said. "We have a chance to get rested and healthy."