The Buford Wolves football team made a statement in their season opener against Alabama’s No. 1 team, Thompson, in a 38-7 win in the Freedom Bowl on Friday, Aug. 19, at Milton High School.

Junior K.J. Bolden got the first points on the board after scoring on a 28-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dylan Wittke. The extra point was good, giving Buford the early lead 7-0. Both defenses kept the scoring in the first half to just that lone touchdown.

The Wolves had a huge second half, scoring 31 points in their Class AAAAAAA debut against the Warriors. Mario Ventura opened the second half scoring with a 31-yard field goal to make it 10-0 in favor of Buford.

Just a short time later, Buford would score again as sophomore linebacker Justin Baker was able to intercept a pass from Thompson and then run the ball 23 yards for a pick six making the score 17-0.

Thompson was able to get on the board early in the fourth quarter when freshman quarterback Trent Seaborn connected with K.B. Williams for an eight-yard touchdown pass. These would be Thompson’s only points as Buford’s defense held strong for the remainder of the game.

The Wolves continued their scoring as senior Alabama commit Justin Haynes showed why he was so heavily recruited by racking up two touchdowns. One was a 97-yard kickoff return and the other was a 23-yard rush into the end zone. Haynes amassed nearly 200 all-purpose yards in the game.

Junior Bryson Banks got his own pick six for Buford in between the two touchdowns from Haynes in the fourth quarter.

Buford’s defense was the real MVP of the game with two pick sixes, three forced fumbles and six sacks. The defense forced Thompson to bench starting quarterback Zach Sims in the fourth quarter.

Senior Alijah Williams was a defensive standout for the Wolves with two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Up next for the Wolves is a non-region home game against Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Tom Riden Stadium.

FEATURED PHOTO: Buford running back Justice Haynes had two touchdowns against Thompson to help the Wolves secure their win over the Warriors during the Freedom Bowl at on Aug. 19, 2022, at Milton High School. Photo by Alicia Payne.

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