Questions for Buford-St. Pius final

Questions that should be answered next week in the Class AAA championship game between St. Pius and Buford:

Can the Buford defense slow down the St. Pius option? After putting the kibosh on Cartersville’s aerial circus on Friday, the Wolves will be asked to again stuff the run. Cartersville managed only 24 yards of offense in the second half after starting the game with a 10-0 lead. Only this time they’ll be asked to do it against one of the best running teams in the state. The Golden Lions had 279 yards of total offense against North Hall in the semifinals, with fullback Ryan Braswell rushing for 131 yards of that.

Is the St. Pius defense up to the challenge? The Golden Lions have one of the state’s best defensive coordinators in Jerry Stewart, who served in the same capacity during Parkview’s glory years. Pius has some good size and can expect to face some pounding by Buford’s big offensive line, but they’ll have to stop the Wolves exceptional backfield of Dontravious Wilson and Joshua Thomas. Buford had 317 yards in offense against Cartersville.

Which quarterback will shine? Neither team is quarterback-centric, but both have a solid presence under center. St. Pius relies on left-hander Jack Spear, who does a good job making the right calls on the option and is capable of keeping the opposition honest with his arm. (Spear threw a 34-yard touchdown pass against North Hall and ran for a 53-yard touchdown.) Buford’s Montgomery VanGorder is equally underrated, but is effective at managing the game. VanGorder, like Spear, can surprise with the pass; he had a touchdown pass against Cartersville that put the game away.

Who will have the Dome-field advantage? Buford has played at the Georgia Dome so many times that it almost feels like its voice needs to be heard on the issue of building the new Atlanta Falcons stadium with the retractable roof. This will be the sixth straight year the Wolves have played for the state championship. The Georgia Dome is like a second home to the Wolves. St. Pius has played there a couple of times; the Lions beat Grady 37-13 in a regular-season game in 2009 and lost to Northside Warner Robins 20-17 in the 2006 semifinals.

93 comments Add your comment

Old Golden Lion

December 8th, 2012
2:21 am

St. Pius is much like the military academies ie Navy,Army,Air Force, we are never usually bigger or faster than our opponents. But what you will find when you play the Golden Lions is a disciplined, well conditioned,with a high football IQ “TEAM” that plays together to the final whistle.
We respect our opponents and relish the opportunity to engage in a contest of sport to display our talents that come from above.

WolvesArePeaking

December 8th, 2012
6:26 am

We’re BACK……….. Buford haven’t lost to a run heavy Team since those Monte William days at Comerce! There going to have make a play or to in the air to beat Buford and Buford picks off every body! 20-14 Buford!

Jan

December 8th, 2012
6:39 am

Watch out Buford. These Lions are HUNGRY!

Big Fan

December 8th, 2012
6:52 am

Buford, Buford, Buford. Well, that name is synonymous with Power House and it’s well deserved. I can respect your confidence “Wolves are Peeing” I mean peaking. But I think SPX will just show up and try to stay in the game with your incredible athletes…can’t wait! Go Golden Lions!!

bwolves

December 8th, 2012
8:17 am

It should be a slobberknocker of a HS football game. If you like smashmouth, this will be the best classification championship game to watch. Most of Buford’s “incredible athletes” graduated last year. This Buford team is younger, and smaller on both sides of the ball but are very fast on defense with some hard nosed runners. Teams don’t make a living running the ball on Buford. WE’RE BACK!

Jan

December 8th, 2012
9:16 am

Just being back ain’t winning… We are coming to the dome to SEND YOU HOME. One more win! Go Pius!

B-Town

December 8th, 2012
10:23 am

Jan we never left………………. We live in the Dome………. like Coach said we just playing on House Money, not surpose to be our year

WOW

December 8th, 2012
10:54 am

Buford will be a big challange for St Pius. There program continues to be one of the best every year. Good luck to both teams and go Lions.

fifener pod

December 8th, 2012
12:14 pm

listen people,Buford has the best offensive line in AAA, and along with that defense, which actually plays better in the 2nd half, which is credited to the defensive coaches who make the critical ajustments, how can u not pick Buford.

Stinger63

December 8th, 2012
12:51 pm

I would certainly have to agree with the comments from “WolvesarePeaking”; you need a balanced attack to move the ball on this team. Good luck to both teams, should be a great game.

Stinger63

December 8th, 2012
12:54 pm

Is there anybody still doubting if Buford can compete in AAA? I know there were some who thought the move up to AAA would slow them down, but apparently not.

north georgia fan

December 8th, 2012
1:13 pm

Stinger I don’t think anyone doubted U of Buford could compete in the new AAA or in AAAA or AAAAA either with their size, depth and coaching staff. All year long Cartersville had won the second half until Buford game. Hats off to their defense. I am positive they can do the same against St. Pius.

kidsballcoach

December 8th, 2012
2:38 pm

North GA, Yes SPX hope the U of B will take it easy on us, since all season it has been clear on the blogs and in the lack of media attention that the little Catholic School in the Hood could not compete with the top schools in 3 AAA. See you at the Dome. :)

ST PIUS fan

December 8th, 2012
2:38 pm

WOW North Ga Fan Already writing off SPX .. Well on these blogs Son of Waco had us CRUSHED and Trojan man said we should not even show up. My friend we beat two of the best teams in the state. I will say that WACO was AWESOME and I think jf we can beat what i feel was the best team other than SPX we can tame the wolves.. And for B Town WE ARE ST PIUS and dont forget that………… GO GOLDEN LIONS

BullDawg Rick

December 8th, 2012
2:49 pm

Been telling all that Buford will dominate AAA much the same way they have all their competition the past 12 years..

They have gone on the road & destroyed Carver-Columbus & beat a pretty proud Cartersville team.

Any one dimensional team does not stand a chance vs the Buford D..

The only team that beat them had the states best QB & had a good running & passing game & they are in the AAAAA Finals, the Red Elephants of Gainesville… & it was not in the bag for them until the final gun, 19-15..

The game between the Wolves & Lions will be ugly… Buford playing in the Dome is like a home game & they are not distracted by the big stage.

21 – 28 point win vs the Catholics

38-14 Buford!!!

ST PIUS fan

December 8th, 2012
2:52 pm

Kidsballcoach – AAAAAMEN AAAAAMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN.. maybe North Ga should talk to Son of WACO . We can play with any team in the state and remember WE ARE ST PIUS…… It is great to be a GOLDEN LION..

ST PIUS fan

December 8th, 2012
2:59 pm

BullDawg Rick : Look I am just as upset over Bama and our beloved Dawgs but it is time to stop drinking moonshine and realize that ST PIUS is really really good . Son of WACO told us that we were done so I am so HAPPY :-) that you are keeping the tradition of underestimating the GOLDEN LIONS. It is SO GREAT TO BE A GOLDEN LION………

ST PIUS fan

December 8th, 2012
3:14 pm

By the way Bulldawg Rick if we are the Catholics how do we slang Buford???? Maybe the Rednecks?? Just asking?????

BullDawg Rick

December 8th, 2012
3:25 pm

Pius – Slang Buford??? WINNERS

PS – I did not know “Catholics” was slang?? ( FWIW – I was an alter boy at St Thomas Moore in the 70’s…)

ST PIUS fan

December 8th, 2012
3:43 pm

BullDawg Rick I went to IHM in the 70’s and to SPX in the 80’s.. So where did you go to High School??? Maybe we played against each other in that old catholic league. I always remember CRUSHING STM and OLA but Christ the King and Peter and Paul were always a handfull. GO GOLDEN LIONS

Roy D. Mercer

December 8th, 2012
3:46 pm

Well just dang Bulldawg Rick. You just poked a hornets nest with a short stick!

NurseBecky

December 8th, 2012
3:48 pm

As usual, Everybody has to trash Buford. Just chill out and let the kids play the game.and cut out the name calling–it annoys people and makes you look bad.

north georgia fan

December 8th, 2012
5:46 pm

Pius not to diminish your team congrats for making it to the final. Huge accomplishment with quality wins. Good luck.
Buford by 17

PiusDad

December 8th, 2012
6:03 pm

Love it, the underdog again! See you in the dome for what promises to be a great game!

BT Parent Pulling for the "Catholic Win"

December 8th, 2012
6:27 pm

As I said earlier this year, the Catholic Schools are never intimidated by Buford, and SPX will bring the passion. It ain’t going to be a blowout on either side, it will be close. BT dominated Cartersville but didn’t take care of the ball and hence lost a game they should have won vs. Cartersville. BT had SPX at SPX up until SPX won in the last minute. Cartersville performed very well against Buford but did not make the coaching adjustments needed in the 2nd half to beat Buford. That won’t happen with SPX. Well coached, well-disciplined, and fired up to finish the deal against the self-proclaimed Buford dynasty. SPX has the best band in the state especially with that Rock Band that gets the Golden Lion Crowd into the game more than any crowd. This game is essentially a “toss up” but SPX will win. It will be great to see Buford lose two State Championships in a row, nothing would be sweeter !!! It just goes to show you what happens when you have to recruit players in high school to have a good football team (vs. develop them thru your Junior Program) – at some point there is no loyalty and passion and with Buford’s move to AAA I think they are realizing that they no longer have the entire school really behind the program anymore nor can they dominate as they did in AA. Their homegrown kids with real Buford addresses are no match for the rest of AAA’s real depth that is developed in the Junior Programs. Go Golden Lions!!! BEAT BUFORD!!!

NurseBecky

December 8th, 2012
7:20 pm

Wow BT Parent–where is all this anger coming from?

PlayinDoctor

December 8th, 2012
7:29 pm

NurseBecky, anger? really? I don’t see it. What led you to this prognosis?

NurseBecky

December 8th, 2012
8:09 pm

I’v e always been good at diagnosing—30 years in the ER gives you a great deal of experience in seeing what lies behind a person’s words. As I said before, they are kids,people!! It’s a game, people!! Would you stand in front of a team of kids and say the things you say on this blog? I sure hope you wouldn’t.

THEX

December 8th, 2012
8:43 pm

Thanks, BT parent!
Go Lions!

PlayinDoctor

December 8th, 2012
8:56 pm

NurseBecky – these ajc blogs aren’t intended for pregame pep talks. There are a bunch of old farts talking smack, wishing and dreaming of a chance to play just one more play. Don’t get too concerned about the negativity. The Pius people are good folks and they will be very respectful of ALL the other fans and especially the players down at the DOME! 30 years in the ER. WOW! I bet you have seen it all and then some. Thank you for your service!! It’s going to be fun no matter who comes out on top!!

Homeless

December 8th, 2012
11:00 pm

Nurse Becky PlayinDoctor – Two questions 1. Do you perform CPR 2. Do you make house calls ;-]

NurseBecky

December 9th, 2012
7:31 am

Dear Homeless–yes I perform CPR–but only on those who hearts have stopped beating and from some of the comments on this blog I suspect there are some people with no discernable heart beats. Just for everyone’s info–in the past year and a half Buford HS has suffered 3 tragic losses. An Assistant football coach suffered a massive heart attack at school and died–there were kids who witnessed this. Then this year a HS Junior collapsed during pre-basket ball practice and subsequentlydied. Kids witnessed this. Then a Buford HS Grad ( son of one of the coaches and a school nurse) was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. Theother sideof this tragedy is the teenage girl who was the driver of the other auto was charged with vehicular homicide. So while there are those of you who think you know all about Buford HS–you really don’t. These kids have been through a lot and still strive to be the best–not only in Athletics but also in Academics and The Arts. Buford is trully a AAA school. And no, Homeless–no house calls –those went out with the horse and buggy days—I’m old but not quite that old. I won’t post here again so I want to wish both teams a safe trip to the Dome, no injuries during the game, and may the best team win.

ron

December 9th, 2012
8:28 am

I think that I’d rather sit home and enjoy alcohol-free egg nog, turn the air conditioner up and build a fire considering the unseasonably warm weather we’re experiencing.
Georgia PublicTelevision is a better alternative compared to an almost empty Georgia Dome.
Christmas cheer to all of the teams that made the state playoffs.

wolfbait67

December 9th, 2012
8:38 am

I thunk I saw a prutty cat, I thunk I saw a prutty cat, O, it was just a prutty cat dressed up like fool’s Gold… did U say from down in the hood…..OOOOOO

Wolves88

December 9th, 2012
9:59 am

Well Buford and St Pius have 1 common team North Hall. Buford 45 to 16 St Pius 31 to 6. Ask the trojans who the better team is. Still has to be settled on the field, but Buford looks to be more dominant. Not bad for a team replacing 20 starters from last years team.

Big Fan

December 9th, 2012
10:25 am

Hey Wolves 88….Whoops! You forgot one more common opponent, North Oconee…I’ll let you look that one up. ;0)

Brody Nieporte

December 9th, 2012
12:12 pm

Quincy Nieporte (defensive line,St.Pius ) vs Montgomery VanGorder ( quarterback, Buford )
They are cousins !

Good Luck !!

ST PIUS fan

December 9th, 2012
1:29 pm

Wolves88 – what about the N Oconee game how easy it is to forget that match up. Look at the scores and tell me who is the better team…. Just remember Son of WACO and Trojan Man8 told us that we had no shot. It looks like our guns were loaded in those games…. GO GOLDEN LIONS

ST PIUS fan

December 9th, 2012
1:43 pm

Wolfbait67 Did you get a chance to watch DELIVERANCE like I suggested last week? Maybe you know some people in that movie???

north georgia fan

December 9th, 2012
2:25 pm

Coaching adjustments cant make up for being physically overmatched up front.
Our guys played their hearts out but the size and depth on the Buford lines won the game in the second half. No coaching scheme can get around that.

WolvesAreBackAAA

December 9th, 2012
2:47 pm

big fan what about the woodward gm lol

wolfbait67

December 9th, 2012
3:06 pm

St Pius fan: You sure know a lot about that film, must be a must see at your house ….do you squeal also….

wolfbait67

December 9th, 2012
3:09 pm

St Pius fan: You should not suggest to other people your favorite film,, it might make people wonder about you since you are talking about St Pius……. mine was Smokey and the Bandit

Big Fan

December 9th, 2012
3:10 pm

AAA Wolf. SPX lost that one. Did I hit a nerve there?

ST PIUS fan

December 9th, 2012
4:22 pm

Wolfbait67 You are the one with the BANJO I bet you are watching Broke Back Mtn right now…. Just remember we are good and we beat the best team other than us in these playoffs in WACO. Cant wait to meet you in the DOME .. Just a point to help you in the HOOD. They dont allow Banjos in the DOME . Oh and I bet you have a PURRTY MOUTH…

ST PIUS fan

December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Smokey and the Bandit was way to good for your taste unless you had a hankering for Junior :-)

Dacula

December 9th, 2012
6:36 pm

Should be an interesting chess match between St. Pius’ offense and Buford’s defense. Paul Standard (St. Pius HC and also OC) went head to head everyday in practice with Dicky May (Buford DC) when they were coordinators for Kevin Maloof (also St. Pius grad) at Dacula in the mid to late 90’s and 2000. They are very good friends and know each other inside and out.

4Generations@Buford

December 9th, 2012
6:44 pm

Isn’t Cartersville a Citu School (U of C) and SPX (U of SPX) a Private School? Look in the mirror when you claim U of Buford. My Dad and my son both played on undefeated teams. My son has 2 rings (not bragging, stating a fact)! Neither were recurited! If you think we are poor, you might want to look at the Buford Football stadium, because we are behind the Buford Wolves as a community. Does SPX have a community, or just recruit around the state? Look in the mirror!
That’s why the game is played. The wolves didn’t hang their head last year, but it is certainly incentive!
I realize most of the bloggers are immature, so your name calling is not a bother.

kidsballcoach

December 9th, 2012
6:46 pm

How about SPX vs Dawson County: 72 to 28. I will go there and say Buford schedule is light. And just a reminder, the last time they played in the Dome they lost in the AA Championship. Let’s play the game and SPX is honored to be there.

Seen a Few

December 9th, 2012
7:37 pm

Dacula..I had heard something like that. Thanks for the details. Chess match for sure. This is fun.