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Posted: Saturday, October 5th 2013 at 1:59am

Buford dominates West Hall for third straight shutout (Video)

By Jeff Hart Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Buford's Joshua Thomas (1) runs away from a pair of West Hall defenders in the Wolves win in Oakwood on Friday. / photo: Brian Oliver
OAKWOOD -- West Hall was hoping to prove it was ready to join the upper ranks of Region 7-AAA.

No. 1-ranked Buford said not just yet.

Buford scored on every possession and cruised to a 63-0 victory over West Hall at Spartans Stadium Friday night.

The Buford defense was able to corral the Spartans potent ground attack holding them to just 43 rushing yards and just 99 total yards for the game. West Hall came into the game having posted three consecutive 300-yard-plus rushing games.

Buford coach Jess Simpson said his defense, which has pitched three consecutive shutouts, is beginning to make its mark among some of the program's other great units.

“They work hard and they’ve said they want to be one of the best defenses we’ve had,” Simpson said. “We didn’t do anything different. They just played tough. What I was really impressed with was how the two's and three's came in and were as physical as the one's. That’s what you like to see as a coach.”

The Buford offense, meanwhile, was showing off its balance. The Wolves (5-0, 2-0 Region 7-AAA) finished with 502 total yards -- 253 passing and 249 on the ground.

“We came out fast and just exploded in the second quarter,” Simpson told his team just after the final whistle. “That’s what I like to see. I was proud of the entire effort.”

West Hall got the first big play of the game when Buford was called for pass interference on a third down play putting the Spartans at their 36. Three plays later they faced a 4th-and-1 at their 45 and elected to punt.

The Wolves took advantage returning the punt to their 42 and then six plays later Thomas Wilson, running a version of the wildcat, raced 14 yards for touchdown and a Matthew Bonadies extra point gave them a 7-0 lead with 5:31 left in the first quarter.

After stopping the Spartans on three plays again, Buford went to work again. The Wolves needed just four plays to make it 14-0 when Zavior Hoxie scored on a 9-yard run.

The second quarter was a nightmare for the Spartans. Buford exploded for 35 points in the period and piled up 330 yards of total offense.

On their first possession of the second quarter, the Wolves’ Joshua Thomas put on the highlight of the game. The junior running back took a quick screen pass from Taylor Mitchell and then danced, juked, and serpentined his way 84 yards for a touchdown to give Buford a 21-0 lead.

"That was just a great play," Simpson said.

Xavier Gantt would cap another quick drive just two minutes later with a 29-yard touchdown run. Joshua Thomas would extend the lead to 35-0 two minutes after Gantt’s run scooping up a West Hall fumble for a 30-yard return for a touchdown.

Just over two minutes later Mitchell would connect with David Curry on a 32-yard pass for a 42-0 lead. VanGorder would connect with Steven Reese on a 23-yard TD pass just before the half for a 49-0 lead.

The Wolves defense, meanwhile, held the Spartans to just 66 yards in the first half, only 32 on the ground. West Hall’s Kwon Williams, who came in averaging over 18 yards a carry, had just five yards on four attempts in the first half. Williams finished with seven yards on five carries for the game.

Unfortunately for West Hall (4-2, 2-1) the second half started the way the first half ended. Evyn Cooper rumbled 68 yards on the second play of the third quarter to give Buford a 56-0 lead. They finished the scoring early in the fourth quarter when Cameron Poole took a crossing pass from Luke Humphrey 60 yards for a score.

SCORING SUMMARY
Buford.......14....35....7....7 -- 63
West Hall.....0......0.....0.....0 -- 0

First Quarter
BUF -- Wilson 14 run (Bonadies kick) 7-0, 5:31
BUF -- Hoxie 9 run (Bonadies kick) 14-0, 5:31

Second Quarter
BUF -- J. Thomas 84 pass from Mitchell (Bonadies kick) 21-0, 10:22
BUF -- Gantt 29 run (Bonadies kick) 28-0, 8:17
BUF -- J. Thomas 30 fumble return (Bonadies kick) 35-0, 5:59
BUF -- Curry 32 pass from Mitchell (Bonadies kick) 42-0, 10:22
BUF -- Reese 27 pass from VanGorder (Bonadies kick) 49-0, 10:22

Third Quarter
BUF -- Cooper 68 run (Bonadies kick) 56-0, 8:46

Fourth Quarter
BUF -- Poole 60 pass from Humphrey (Bonadies kick) 63-0, 9:49
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