BUFORD -- It's official. Buford's back.
With a 50-0 domination of Lovett on Saturday night in a rain-soaked Tom Riden Stadium, the Wolves won their first Class AA state football title since 2003.
Buford came close to the top in the past three seasons after winning three consecutive titles between 2001 and 2003 but had always fallen short. Saturday night was payday for the patient seniors.
"I've been here since I was a freshman and I watched them lose in the state championship," senior Shane Cozza said, proudly wearing his Buford letter jacket. "To come back to this in my senior year, this is just great."
The Wolves (15-0) got started early, jumping out to a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Buford's defense kept the Lions from getting a first down in the first half. By halftime, with the lead extended to 30-0, Buford fans and players were already celebrating the inevitable.
Combined with the semifinal win in the Georgia Dome against Dublin on Dec. 8, the Wolves have outscored their last two opponents 98-0.
"There was no doubt," senior band member Najé Evans said. "I had a great feeling that our seniors this year were way too excited to win that championship."
As the game went on, the weather got colder and colder. That didn't seem to bother Evans.
"I was warm throughout the whole game," the sousaphone player said. "I just kept jumping around."
The 22 seniors on Buford's roster won four straight Region 6-AA titles and 52 games. One thing they hadn't done until Saturday night was hoist the silver state championship trophy on their home field.
"I don't know what to feel," senior cheerleader Mekinnah Ricketson said. "Happy and sad. I don't want it to be over but what a great way to end it."