Buford has won its last three games 63-0. Sixty-three to zero. Not combined, but each game.
This week’s opponent for Buford is White County, a playoff team last year and in contention to make it again this year. But before anyone starts conjuring up dreams of an upset, Buford won last year’s game 49-14.
The message boards will be ripe with critics again,blasting the Wolves for playing a weak schedule. Play some real teams, they complain. But that criticism doesn’t really hold water because:
* a. Buford is in an eight-team region, one of the largest in Class AAA. The Wolves are required to play seven league games, 90 percent of them against teams that consider it a victory to simply score some points.
* b. Buford’s non-region schedule was solid. The Wolves played Elbert County, a playoff contender in Region 8, and Gainesville, the defending Class AAAA champion. Admittedly, the decision to schedule Hancock Central was less-than-inspiring, but the Atlanta Falcons were booked.
Buford does the best it can to keep the score down against the lesser opponents. It uses a lot of different running backs; if eighth graders were eligible they’d probably play, too. But the Wolves must still use their first-teamers enough to keep them ready for the important games — the season-ender at No. 4 North Hall that will determine the region title and the playoffs.
The Wolves have scored 273 points, putting them on pace to score 546 during the regular season. North Hall has scored 244 and could eclipse the 504 they scored in 2007. No. 2 Cartersville has scored 291 points, which would put the Canes close to 500.
The scoreboard-busting offenses are in pursuit of the GHSA scoring record of 549 points by Camden County in 2011. (Thomas Jefferson scored 574 points in 2006 in the GISA.) Fifteen teams have topped 500 points.
Other things to watch this Friday:
No. 6 Jefferson County plays at No. 3 Washington County in a game that should determine the Region 3 championship. Washington County leads the series between the two middle-Georgia giants 9-1-1, including last year’s 57-14 win. Jefferson County has a stellar defense and has not allowed more than 14 points in a game, but will have their hands full trying to slow a Goldens Hawks team that’s tallied 235 points already. Washington County is loaded with offensive weapons, including Melvin Hill (608 yards rushing), Danyale Wicker (486) and quarterback A.J. Gray (five rushing TDs, six passing TDs).
Southeast Bulloch (4-0-1) travels to Blackshear to play the wounded Bears of Pierce County (5-1), which was upset by Appling County last week and fell out of the state rankings. The winner of this game will most likely finish second in Region 1.
Central Carroll (5-1) plays at Callaway (4-1) in a game that should determine the Region 4 championship. Callaway won 14-10 last year and went on to win the regular-season championship. Central must find a way to slow Callaway quarterback Tez Parks and running back Devon Rosser. Central allows only 6.5 points per game. Central, which didn’t play last week, needs another strong effort from back Demetrious Owensby, who ran for 114 yards against B.E.S.T. Academy.
No. 10 Blessed Trinity (3-2) plays at improved Decatur (4-2), which is looking for a statement game. But the Bulldogs have lost two straight — falling to Cedar Grove and Woodward Academy — and the Titans took last week off. Decatur needs to beat either BT or St. Pius in the season finale to get a sniff of the playoffs.