CARROLLTON — Buford is no stranger to tough games this year. They defeated two Class AAAAAAA teams; Milton and Archer. They used unconventional, gutsy plays at times and it paid off for the Wolves. Buford would play their AAAAA quarterfinal game without their top two running backs and lead tackle. The Wolves would also be forced to use backup quarterback Ashton Daniels after Jarvis Evans Jr. was injured.
Buford (12-1) made a field goal in the final seconds of the game to win 24-21 over Carrollton (12-1). Carrollton went into the game the No. 1 team in AAAAA and was previously undefeated.
The Trojans would score first when Mecose Todd had a 73-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Buford would answer back in the second quarter when Evans hit senior wide receiver Julien Lewis with a 13-yard pass for a touchdown. Carrollton would add another touchdown from Todd at the 7:21 mark in the second.
The Wolves once again answered back when sophomore running back Victor Venn found a hole in the Trojan’s defense and rushed for 72 yards for the score. Venn would lead Buford’s rushing game with 235 yards on 34 carries scoring two touchdowns.
Carrollton’s Todd would get his third touchdown of the night with a 1-yard sprint to the end zone in the third quarter. Buford would not be able to tie things back up until the fourth quarter when Venn rushed for a 4-yard touchdown to tie things up at 21 all. The Wolves would line up with 2.5 seconds remaining on the game clock for a field goal attempt by Hayden Olsen. Olsen nailed the field goal for the win.
Olsen just plays earlier executed a fake punt to keep the Wolves’ drive alive. The team practiced a couple of different fake punt situations in practice over the past week and head coach Bryant Appling decided to use it at that crucial moment in the fourth quarter. Olsen threw the ball to senior wide receiver Justice Johnson who took the ball for a 7-yard gain to get the first down for Buford.
Buford will once again be on the road for their Final Four appearance. They travel to take on Jones County on Friday night. The winner of that match will face the winner of the Warner Robins and Starr’s Mill game.
— By Alicia Couch Payne