- Tyler Harden
Buford handles Mill Creek with 39-27 win in battle of the top two teams in Georgia
Photo Credit: David McGregor (Gwinnett Daily Post)
BUFORD, GEORGIA—It's not too often that the top two-ranked teams in the state play each other during the regular season, but that was the case for the Buford Wolves and the Mill Creek Hawks. Buford, the top-ranked team in Georgia, showed why they deserve the hype, fighting off Mill Creek for a 39-27 win.
Running back, Justice Haynes led the way for Buford with over 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Alabama commit found the end zone to start the second half with a 56-yard score, and sealed the deal in the fourth quarter with a 17-yard touchdown. But his first impact in the game didn’t come with his legs.
The Wolves weren’t afraid to use their trick plays early, as Haynes threw a 26-yard pass off a pitch to Eli McElwaney, putting Buford at the Mill Creek 1-yard line. Quarterback, Dylan Wittke, ran in for the score on the next play.
The Buford defense held down the fort shortly after with a blocked field goal and an interception that put them inside the Mill Creek 15-yard line. However, Mill Creek was able to get on the board after Buford made a field goal of their own. Hawks’ quarterback, Hayden Clark, found Makhail Wood for a 36-yard touchdown, making the score 11-6.
After Haynes got Buford set with a long run to Mill Creek’s 20 yard-line, the Wolves started to roll with two straight scores; Wittke found Eli McElwaney for a 22-yard score, and Jordan Allen returned a punt 82 yards for another score.
Buford’s defense picked up their end once again with a fumble recovery and a forced punt, but this didn’t put Mill Creek down completely. With two minutes remaining in the first half, Caleb Downs found the end zone with a 6-yard score, and a successful two-point conversion made the score 25-14 going into halftime.
Haynes stepped on the gas to start the second half. After he scored from 56 yards out, Mill Creek responded with a pass from Hayden Jones to Brendan Jenkins for a 6-yard touchdown.
The Hawks made it interesting to start the fourth quarter, as Downs found the end zone once again from 11 yards out. Downs is also committed to the University of Alabama.
But once one Crimson Tide commit made noise, the other had to respond. Haynes got going again with a long run to Mill Creek’s 35-yard line, and he capped off the drive with a 17-yard score.
After two forced punts and a turnover on downs, Buford was in the clear, and walked away with a 39-27 win over the highest-ranked opponent they’ve seen thus far.
Buford improves to 7-0, and will take on Dacula at home next week. Mill Creek suffers their first loss of the season, falling to 6-1, and will take on Collins Hill at home next week.