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Thursday December 12th, 2019 10:11PM

Gaining the Edge: Big-play Buford marches into the semifinals

By Bo Wilson | Video by Seth Chapman

BUFORD — Buford football coach Bryant Appling said he didn't play the lottery after his team's 24-21 win over No. 1-ranked Carrollton in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs on Friday.

OK, the win was not a product of luck, but the way Appling was dialing up plays, he probably could have concocted the six winning Powerball numbers on Friday as well.

"It feels really good that they worked," Appling said. "Everybody is joking and saying all these things about great calls, left and right. It's a tribute to our coaches and our kids on executing those plays."

Appling called on sophomore running back Victor Venn on a 4th-and-3 from their own 28-yard line. Venn dashed 72 yards for the touchdown. He finished with a career-high 235 yards rushing and two scores. 

Appling asked kicker Hayden Olsen to fake a punt and, it too, was successful -- a 7-yard pass to a wide-open Justice Johnson to keep the eventual game-winning drive alive. The pass was Olsen's first-ever varsity pass.

"Just big plays," Olsen said. "There's a lot of plays and calls by our coaches that if we didn't make those or execute on those plays, things could have turned around in a heartbeat."

But Appling is as humble as they come and says the players toughed it out on Friday. 

"It wasn't going great at times," he said. "We made some great plays on offense, defense and a couple of great plays on special teams when we had to have it. Our kids just showed some toughness and grit that I hoped they had in there. They just brought out at the right time."

To watch, click play.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night, Sports Video
  • Associated Tags: Buford football, Gaining the Edge
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