Georgia High School Football – Week 3: Lovett upsets defending Class AA state champ Buford

For the AJC

The Buford reign over its neighbors ended Friday night, as Lovett dashed to a 21-point lead and held off the two-time defending Class AA champions 28-21 at Conley-Oakley Field in Atlanta.

A last-minute defensive stand preserved the win for Lovett (3-0, 1-0 in Region 6-AA) and gave the Wolves their first defeat to a region opponent as a Class AA school. Buford had not lost a region game since losing to Commerce in 2000, when the teams played in Region 8-A.

Since then the Wolves had defeated 58 consecutive region opponents, including 55 wins in Class AA after joining in 2002. As a member of Region 6-AA, the Wolves were 23-for-23 before Friday. Buford (2-1, 0-1) had won 49 consecutive regular-season games after losing to Central Gwinnett on Sept. 10, 2004.

“I’ve not experienced a bigger win in the five years that I’ve been here, “Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. “For us to come out and hold them was huge for our team and our fans.”

Buford took over the ball at its own 6 with 2:41 left to play, and drove 72 yards before Alex Ross was intercepted by Daniel Candler at the goal line as time expired. Candler returned the ball to the 10 and slid, setting off a celebration enjoyed by the entire student body.

“We did a whole lot of growing up tonight,” Buford coach Jess Simpson said in the postgame huddle. “We are going to get a lot better because of this. You’re going to grow from this and get another chance.”

Lovett led 28-7 in the second quarter behind quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff. He found Campbell Wilson for a 14-yard touchdown to give the Lions their biggest lead. Lovett faced third-and-goal from the 17, when Carkhuff found the tight end in the right corner of the end zone.

Carkhuff finished the game 18-for-29 passing, for 192 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also rushed for a 1-yard score in the second quarter.

“Jonathan Carkhuff is hands down the best quarterback I’ve coached,” Muschamp said in praise of the senior who was 0-3 against Buford. “I’ve had others that have gone on to play college ball, and he’s by far the best.”

Buford had beaten Lovett in each of their five previous meetings, including three consecutive shutouts. Lovett quickly ended thoughts of a fourth by scoring on the second play of the game, when Carkhuff hit Zach Boden on an 8-yard hook pass. Boden, who had rushed for 48 yards on the first play, pitched a lateral to Drew Stockton, who ran up the left sideline from 16 yards away. Carkhuff also found Eric Hood for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter.

Ross connected with Jessel Curry for two touchdown passes in the first half, 10 and 11 yards respectively, and drove 81 yards on 14 plays to pull within 28-21 with 5:10 to play. Ross completed 18 of 33 passes for 209 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

21 comments Add your comment


September 12th, 2009
7:58 am

My recall was the first td was a catch by Number 9 Stockton who pitched to Wolfe. Number 4 is a tenacious runner.


September 12th, 2009
8:39 am

Amazing…I didn’t even think a AAAAA school could beat big bully Buford. fofl


September 12th, 2009
9:10 am

Lovett should enjoy this win, but at the end of the day it is only one game. Every team has to lose eventually, but the season is not over for Buford. I wouldn’t kick dirt on them yet. Buford has a really young team with a lot of talent. They made too many mistakes in the first half. I think the coaching staff panicked a bit too when they fell behind. Having said that, the team hasn’t scratched the surface as to how good they will be by the end of the year. Don’t be surprised to see Buford there at the end.

Willie B

September 12th, 2009
10:35 am

What a great game. Bufford seemed a little sluggish out of the gates, but woke up in the 2nd half. #9 for Lovett made some tough catches, took some big hits, and held on to the ball. Was a little disappointed in the enthusiasm from the Buford sideline when Lovett’s #86 went down with a leg injury. I don’t like it when people celebrate an injury, regardless of the team. All in all, these are 2 great programs and a joy to watch play. I hope these two AA Titans continue to do battle.

G. Burdell

September 12th, 2009
12:59 pm

Buford needs to go recruit some better players.

buford fan

September 12th, 2009
1:20 pm

its not about recruiting. its about we had a bad night. buford has another two weeks before the next game. the players will have consequences for the many mistakes they made last night and it will only make them better players. like “Geo” said in the third comment, dont kick dirt on them yet. buford is a young team this year. they lost a lot of seniors these past two years so the team is pretty much made up of sophomors and juniors with maybe 20 seniors this year. buford went into the game last night knowing it was going to be a tough game, but i don’t think they knew it was going to be that bad. they had a bad night, eveyone does. buford just hasn’t had a bad night in a regular season game in about 9 years. i do believe that this game was a game that will turn the attitudes around for the players and that buford will make it to the end. one loss won’t keep them out of the play-offs.


September 12th, 2009
1:52 pm

Big win by Lions. If we continue to execute (and we should, given our seasoned and experienced talent), it our’s to lose this year.


September 12th, 2009
1:53 pm

They (Buford) may have had a “bad night” but you still can’t take anything away from the play of the kids from Lovett. It was a fun game to watch as both teams are very athletic and will continue to do tremendous things the rest of the season and beyond.


September 12th, 2009
3:08 pm

I watched the Camden County Game. That was amazing 2nd half by Hoover. But I will tell you. Camden County’s Ean Day, The kid is definitely Division 1 material. He is very fast….

buford fan

September 12th, 2009
3:38 pm

by all means, i wasn’t dissing the play from lovett last night. i find it remarkable how much they stepped up and became a good football team from last year. if i recall, we (buford) stomped lovett last year. the lovett guys definitely played wonderful last night. BUT, because i’m a buford chick, i will say that i believe that buford and lovett will go again for playoffs or championship.

and i do recall, and so do my texts from the game last night, that the score was definitely 28-14 before half time, not 28-7. i do believe buford scored just a couple minutes before half time because i do remember seeing it while we (the band) was lined up waiting for the time to perform. and before half time even ended i texted someone to tell them that the score was 28-14. i just thought i’d say something about how the score is wrong on this review.


September 12th, 2009
3:39 pm

All I can say is that this was a surprising weekend for me. A lot of my prediction was wrong. I just knew that Camden County would have beaten Hoover Ala. My hat goes off to Hoover. They shut down Camden County’s offense the entire 2nd half where Camden didn’t score any more. The 1st half belonged to Camden County with Camden County leading 27-14. Camden County’s Ean Day is a beast. That kid is very fast. Heck, he was on special teams, and played running back. He is the man to key on. He is definitely Division 1 material. Camden County’s Defense, all i can say is they can really hit hard. Although they displayed such an impressive first half against Hoover, you can tell that Camden County is in a rebuilding state.

Get Real

September 12th, 2009
6:29 pm

Ok….Lovett won a regular season game… it up when you reel off state championships as Buford has done.


September 13th, 2009
3:56 am

i guess buford remember how monticello used 2 beat them in d old region 8 _a.


September 13th, 2009
7:34 pm

Really…”Get Real”? Is that what you wish to harp on? Those kids hit the field on both sides of the sidelines with the same advantage and the same opportunity. One lost and one won. To quote you, “Lovett won a regular season game”…I guess in stride you could say that Buford lost a regular season game. I will leave it to you to place weight on those comments.


September 14th, 2009
10:59 am

I cant believe the Lovett OLine gave Carkuff enough time to pass the ball. And the Oline obviously opened up some hole for the running game too. I knew Lovett had a great QB and some great skill position players.. but i would have thought the Buford D was going to dominate in the trenches as they usually do. Great performance by Lovett to not only get up big, but not fold in the 3rd and 4th qrt when everyone thought Buford was going to finally take over.

Biggest win in Lovett history?


September 14th, 2009
2:45 pm

Hey Buford, you think you can still beat Lowndes, I don’t think so. Way to go Lovett.

Buford U

September 15th, 2009
11:19 am

its just a set up for Lowndes


September 15th, 2009
10:04 pm

Buford U congrats we feel really “set up”. It worked!

Buford Dad

September 17th, 2009
12:16 am

One off night in about 10 yrs and now Buford can’t play with five a schools. (PLEASE) Go back and check our history we can play football with any one. See you in the DOM.

Go Buford

September 17th, 2009
11:16 am

Lovett, we proud for your little win you got finally, when the playoffs come I hope yall are ready. When the coach gets done with Buford in practice they will regret not winning. yall can keep yalls laughing, when the playoffs come keep your helmet on cuz its time to play. The rest of the schools when yall get the all the state championship cups we got then yall can talk. You cant win all of them forever. Good win Lovett, cant wait to see yall in playoffs.


September 18th, 2009
10:57 am

Enter your comments here

Why doesn’t the AJC sports department cover south Georgia High School football? Then they would realize that Savannah Christian Preparatory School is by far the best 1A school team in the state.