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  • Tyler Harden

Buford run game paves the way to a 27-0 win over Lee County

LEESBURG, GEORGIA— Last season, the Buford Wolves and the Lee County Trojans met each other in the Georgia 6A State Championship. The game was better than expected, as Buford walked away with a 34-31 win in overtime. Many thought there might be a rematch in this year’s state championship. However, the rematch came earlier than expected based on the layout of this year’s bracket.

Both teams came in with 1 loss, and each team came in with a different mindset. Buford’s mentality all season long has been to win another state championship, of course. The Wolves won the 5A State Championship two years ago, and won the 6A State Championship last year in their first year be reclassified. On the other hand, Lee County was focused on getting revenge, and knocking Buford out of the playoffs. But the Wolves are used to winning state championships and making deep runs in the playoffs, so they knew exactly what it took to make another run at it.

The Wolves forced a punt from Lee County on their first possession, and right away Buford’s run game started to execute. Running backs, Victor Venn and C.J. Clinkscales, led the Wolves inside the Lee County 20-yard line, but they couldn’t get in the end zone. They were forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. Lee County then started to find some momentum down field, as running back, Ousmane Kromah broke loose on 3rd and 1 into Buford territory to the 38-yard line. But the Buford defense put a stop to things from there, forcing 4th down and 21. The Trojans decided to go for it, and Buford came up with an interception to end the first quarter.

The Buford run game went right back to work to start the second quarter, bringing the Wolves inside the Lee County 15-yard line. Quarterback, Ashton Daniels, then did some running of his own. The Stanford Commit found his way into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown, making the score 10-0 (PAT good). After Buford forced another Lee County punt, Ashton Daniels brought the Wolves to the Lee County 25-yard line. Running back, Eli Parks, took over from there, running in the end zone untouched for a 23-yard touchdown (PAT good). Lee County was forced to punt again, and the first half ended with Buford up 17-0.

Buford’s run game continued to dominate in the second half, but Lee County eventually caught on, forcing a punt on 4th and 7 from the Trojans’ 46-yard line. The Trojans found some momentum, completing two big passes to move inside the Buford 15-yard line. But just when Lee County found momentum, it diminished. Lee County fumbled on 3rd down and 3, and Buford recovered at their own 12-yard line to end the third quarter.

The Wolves took advantage to start the fourth quarter. Although they weren’t able to get in the end zone, they still extended their lead to 20-0 with a 26-yard field goal. But the Buford special teams gave them another unexpected chance to extend their lead even more. A muffed kick return by Lee County was recovered by Buford with outstanding field position at the Lee County 23-yard line. The Trojans controlled them from there, however, forcing them to settle for a 29-yard field goal attempt, which was missed.

Lee County found a spark shortly after, as quarterback, Christopher Martin, completed a pass to tight end, Tyrus Washington, into Buford territory at the 47-yard line. But Buford had answer on Martin’s next pass. Safety, Tyshun White, came up with an interception to give the Wolves the ball at their own 31-yard line. The offense did the rest, as Ashton Daniels found wide receiver, Isaiah Bond, who sprinted his way into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown, making the score 27-0 (PAT good). After Lee County was able to advance into Buford territory off of a roughing the passer penalty, the Wolves were able to contain them from there, and run out the remaining time.

With another win over Lee County after last year’s state championship game, Buford hopes in winning another state title still remain very much alive.

Buford’s record improves to 12-1 after this win, and they will move onto the semifinals of the 6A State Playoffs. The Wolves will take on Carrollton in their semifinal matchup at a date and time to be determined. Lee County suffers their second loss of the season, and falls to 11-2.

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