BUFORD -- The newest Buford defense was trying to put its name among the great units of the program Friday night against White County.
They fell just 1:32 shy of accomplishing their goal.
White County scored its only touchdown of the game on a 4th-and-goal from the Buford 1 to deny Buford a fourth-consecutive shutout. The Wolves still managed to come away with a dominating 42-6 win over the Warriors in Region 7-AAA action at Tom Riden Stadium.
The last Buford team to have four consecutive shutouts was the 2003 squad. They also accomplished it in 2001. Both years the Wolves won state titles.
Buford coach Jess Simpson said despite allowing the late points his defense still has a goal in mind.
"They have been playing lights out over the past month and their goal is be the best we've ever had," Simpson said. "White County has a tough offense to defend and I thought we did a great job against their option."
The Wolves' shutout streak ended with three, which was last done in 2012 and also in 2009.
The defense got plenty of help from the offense, which controlled the ball with several long drives. Simpson said that was a big key against the Warriors (4-2, 2-1 Region 7-AAA) who came into the game tied with Buford and North Hall atop the standings.
"We were able to keep our defense off the field most of the first half which was a big key," Simpson said. "You have to keep option teams off the field because they like to control the game. We did a nice job."
An unexpected onside kick by Buford in the first quarter also helped take some of the steam out of the Warriors. Buford had just used more than seven minutes on its opening drive and White County was expecting to get its hands on the ball.
"We had seen something on film and it seemed like a good time to try it," Simpson said. "That was big because we were able to keep the ball and then get another score and that really set the tone I think."
The Wolves (6-0, 3-0) wasted little time in getting going. They would take the opening kickoff and use a seven-minute drive to take the early lead. Thomas Wilson would cap the 80-yard, 15 play drive with a 13-yard run through the heart of the White County defense for a 7-0 lead after a Matthew Bonadies extra point.
The Wolves would take control of the game in the next 20 seconds. They would recover a well-disguised onsides kick. Wilson would need just two plays to cap the quick drive, bolting 41 yards for his second touchdown in 19 seconds for a 14-0 Buford lead before White County had even touched the ball.
White County would go three-and-out on its first possession and then the Buford would mount another long drive. The Wolves used more than five minutes and 13 plays to push the lead to 21-0 on a 25-yard pass from Montgomery VanGorder to Korie Rogers with 8:53 left in the second quarter.
The Wolves defense again stopped the Warriors on three plays and the offense went to work driving 66 yards in nine plays, capped by a 24-yard blast up the middle by Xavier Gantt for a 28-0 lead with just 2:23 left in the half.
Wilson and Buford would cap the first half with the senior taking a screen pass from VanGorder and snaking his way through the White County defense with 12 seconds left for a 35-0 lead.
The second half featured a running clock but Buford managed to add on to its lead. Connor Tarleton capped another long Buford drive with a 4-yard score to make it 42-0 in the third quarter.
White County would finally get on the board with just 1:32 left in the game when AJ Vandiver scored on a 4th-and-goal. He set up the score with a 14-yard scramble to the Buford 1 after the Warriors faced a 3rd-and-goal from the 15.
Buford would finish with 392 total yards, 232 rushing, paced by Wilson's 67 yards. Joshua Thomas had 64 yards on 16 carries.
White County was held to 93 total yards, most of that coming on its final drive of the game.
WHITE COUNTY....0....0....0....6 -- 6
BUFORD............14...21....7....0 -- 42
BUF -- Wilson 13 run (Bonadies kick) 7-0, 4:41
BUF -- Wilson 41 run (Bonadies kick) 14-0, 4:22
BUF -- Rogers 25 pass from VanGorder (Bonadies kick) 21-0, 8:53
BUF -- Gantt 24 run (Bonadies kick) 28-0, 2:23
BUF -- Wilson 18 pass from VanGorder (Bonadies kick) 35-0, 0:12
BUF -- Tarleton 4 run (Bonadies kick) 42-0, 1:15
WC -- Vandiver 1 run (kick failed) 42-6, 1:32