By Sean Brink
The Buford Wolves Varsity Football Team (9-1) defeated the Paulding County Patriots (5-6) 54-23 in the first round of Class AAAAA playoffs Friday, November 10, 2017 at Tom Riden Stadium in Buford.
Wolves RB Derrian Brown led all rushers with 160 yards on just seven carries and displayed a combination of both blazing speed and brute strength while carving his way through the Patriot defense for four touchdowns. The most memorable, a game-breaking 74-yard touchdown run in the second period to put the Wolves ahead 19-3. Buford RB Anthony Grant rushed for 82 yards and forced his way into the end zone for a score.
Wolves freshman QB Aaron McLaughlin threw two touchdowns and one interception. McLaughlin connected with WR Tyler Gillis for a 10-yard score and later with WR Isaiah Isaac for a 60-yard score.
Paulding County’s air raid offense, which often features five receiver sets, forced the Wolves’ defense to cover the entire field and at times gave the Wolves secondary trouble as Paulding Co. QB Brantley Mauldin was 20 of 40 passing for 296 yards and threw for three touchdowns.
Paulding Co. sustained a few long drives early in the game and seemed determined to try and keep the Wolves offense off the field by dominating the time of possession with a dink and dunk style offense. Unfortunately for the Patriots offense those early drives often ended with zero points added on the board. Mauldin and his receiving core did find a groove late adding a few scores, but by then, of course, it was too little too late for Patriots.
Buford will host Jackson (Atlanta, GA) this Friday night, November 17, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at Tom Riden Stadium.