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Many happy returns for Wolves in 49-7 win
No. 1 Buford rides defense, special teams past Avondale
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Buford coach Jess Simpson discusses his Wolves' 49-7 win against Avondale on Friday in Buford.

BUFORD -- The Buford High football team didn't produce a massive amount of offensive yards in its 49-7 win over Avondale on Friday.

But how the Wolves scored, and how they kept their opponent from scoring, made the win just as impressive.

Class AA's top-ranked team breezed to its third region win of the season and 20th straight behind an efficient special teams that scored two touchdowns and a rock-solid defense that allowed only 17 rushing yards and sacked the quarterback six times.

Meanwhile, Buford's kick and punt return specialists dominated the winless Blue Devils, scoring two touchdowns. Cody Getz had a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown and Alex Barton added a 96-yard kick return for a score late in the game.

"We challenged the kids to come out and play fast and physical," Buford coach Jess Simpson said. "We were really up-tempo and had whole lot of energy."

Since beginning region play three weeks ago, Buford (5-0, 3-0 Region 6-AA) has outscored its 6-AA opponents 121-7.

"The good news is, you want to be the best you want to be all year right now," Simpson said. "There's a whole lot we can improve on, no doubt, but effort is not the problem. If we can clean up on offense, the sky is the limit."

Although defense and special teams highlighted another big night for Buford, its offense also was productive, especially in the first half. The Wolves varied their scoring with efficient passes to move upfield and ended drives with a powerful rushing game.

Getz rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, Storm Johnson rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and Jessel Curry scored two goal-line touchdowns.

Quarterback Michael May was 7-for-11 passing with 94 yards and one touchdown for the Wolves. Getz was his leading receiver, picking up 53 yards on three receptions.

"There's a lot of positives, but there are some things we can improve on offense," Simpson said.

The Wolves lit the scoreboard only 10 seconds into the game when Avondale quarterback Johquil Dawson dropped the snap on the Blue Devils' 20-yard line. Buford recovered and scored on the next play, with Getz earning the touchdown.

Buford's next touchdown came only four minutes later when Johnson found the end zone on a 10-yard carry.

Buford took a 21-point lead in the first quarter when May found Curry with a 22-yard pass to put the Wolves on Avondale's 1. Curry hammered the ball in on the ground for the score.

Curry would score early in the second quarter with his second touchdown of the night from 5 yards out.

Buford's final score of the half came late in the second quarter, when Getz returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown. Getz dodged several Blue Devils, including the punter himself, on his way to the end zone.

"I have to credit my blockers on that punt return," Getz said. "They kept telling me I had to break one soon, and they helped me out a lot."

A running clock due to a mercy rule didn't keep the Wolves off the scoreboard in the second half. Halfway through the third quarter, May found Josh Rudnik from 10 yards to give Buford a commanding 42-point lead.

Avondale finally made progress on offense, putting together a four-first down drive that went 77 yards and ended in Dawson's 32 yard pass to Courtney Brantley.

Dawson ended the night 9-for-18 passing with one touchdown and one interception. Brantley caught six receptions for 74 yards.

But Buford saved the most exciting play for last. With only 1:12 left in the fourth quarter and mostly junior varsity players on the field, Barton scored a 96-yard touchdown return to give Buford a 49-7 lead.

Buford is on the road next week when it visits Cross Keys at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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