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Buford rolls in season opener
Buford High fullback Jessel Curry charges through a hole in the Grovetown defense for a big gain during the first quarter of the Wolves Friday night 2009 season opener against the Warriors at Tom Riden Stadium.

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Buford 51, Grovetown 0

Difference maker: Buford’s defense. The Wolves held Grovetown to negative yardage on the night.

Stat that matters: Four different running backs for Buford scored on rushing touchdowns. The Wolves finished with 322 rushing yards.

Turning point: Jessel Curry scored on a run from the 2 early in the second quarter giving Buford a 14-0 lead.

Who’s next: Buford visits North Hall on Sept. 4 at The Brickyard.


BUFORD With only four returning starters off the Class AA state championship team in 2008, the Buford High football team of this season seems remarkably unchanged. To be more precise: they are still completely dominating.

Riding a 30-game winning streak into Friday’s season opener against Grovetown at Tom Riden Stadium, the top-ranked Wolves defense allowed only three plays for positive yardage in the first half and secured a 51-0 win over the Warriors.

"We were a little sloppy early, but to our kids credit they played hard and physical," Buford coach Jess Simpson said. "I think we outmatched them on the line a little since they’re so young and a new school this year."

Eventually, Buford’s offense found its groove and finished with 322 rushing yards between eight different running backs. Jessel Curry, Eric Barr, Rick Legrant and Darrian Smith all scored on touchdown runs for the Wolves.

"We’re a smash mouth football team, everyone knows that," Curry said. "But we have a great offensive line and those guys deserve the credit, I think they’re better than last season."

Even though Buford (1-0) drew 103 yards worth of penalties in the opening quarter, the Wolves defense locked down on Grovetown’s running game, which in turn lead to complete domination by Buford in the battle for field position. The Warriors’ (0-1) only legitimate scoring chance came on their first possession, but stalled when two passes near the goal line floated over the hands of the intended receiver.

"It’s frustrating the lack of execution since we put so much time into doing things the right way," Simpson added. "But as the game went along we got better."

Late in the second quarter, the Warriors, playing in their first football game in school history, were forced to punt out of the back of the end zone, which led to a 19-yard touchdown run by Auburn verbal commit Curry on the opening play of the ensuing drive.

Curry’s running set the tone for Buford’s offense on the night with all three second quarter touchdowns of 2, 1 and 19 yards.

Buford’s first touchdown came on the game’s second drive when junior Eric Barr scored on a run from the 1. That capped a 12 play, 88-yard drive that took 5:14 off the clock. The longest play on the drive happened when junior quarterback Alex Ross hit Sherman Page for a 25-yard gain. Ryan Dillard added runs of 10 and 11 yards on the drive.

After a three-and-out by Grovetown, the Wolves took control of the ball again early in the second quarter. Curry opened the drive with a run of 17 yards, Nathan Staub followed with a run of 21 yards, and Jamal English caught a pass of 16 yards. Curry scored on the next play with a run from the 2. Legrant (60 yards), Smith (57), and Barr (53) were Buford’s leading rushers. The Wolves finished with 75 passing yards.

Grovetown finished with minus-10 rushing yards, and minus-11 yards of total offense.

The Wolves have two weeks to prepare for a trip to face North Hall at The Brickyard on Sept. 4.

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