COLUMBUS -- If there was any doubt to just how good the newest version of the Buford defense is, just ask Carver, Columbus.
The Wolves held the Tigers to just 121 total yards and no offensive scores in a 31-7 shellacking at Memorial Stadium Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Class AAA playoffs.
Even more impressive is the fact that Buford (10-3) held dual-threat quarterback Torrance McGee to just 49 total yards running and passing for the game. McGee came into the game with a combined 1,600-plus yards of offense and 27 combined touchdowns.
"This is one of the most gratifying nights we've had for Buford football since I've been here," Buford coach Jess Simpson said. "It's been crazy to watch these guys compete this season. These boys have really overachieved this year."
The game was billed as a possible payback for Carver (11-2) which was knocked out of the Class AA playoffs last year by Buford.
Early on it looked like the Tigers may get their revenge. They led 7-3 at halftime on a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown. They held Buford to just a 35-yard field goal by David Petroni.
It was all Buford after halftime, though.
Montgomery VanGorder connected with Isaac Nauta for a 31-yard touchdown pass to give them their first lead at 10-7 and then Gabriel Arroyo increased the lead to 17-7 for the Wolves on a 3-yard touchdown run in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
Buford would put the game away 24 seconds later when Bryson Jordan scooped up a Carver fumble and returned it 31 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter for a touchdown and a 24-7 lead. Dontravious Wilson finished off the Tigers with a 3-yard scoring run with just under three minutes left in the game.
Wilson did most of the damage rushing for 128 of the Wolves 234 yards. He had 26 carries while the entire Carver team had just 21 rushes for 69 yards the game and ran just 33 total plays.
"The story of this game was that our line, tight ends and backs took over," Simpson said. "It's unbelievable how we pounded the ball."
Next up for Buford is a trip to Cartersville and a shot at the finals in the Georgia Dome.
"We're playing with house money now," Simpson said. "We'll go there, play loose, and see what happens."