Buford is the only northeast Georgia area team left standing as the Georgia High School Association football playoffs have now reached the finals.
The Wolves have caught fire in the playoffs after dropping their regular season finale to Clarke Central. After opening with a big win over Decatur at home, Buford has been on a three-week tour of Georgia as they tried to get back to the Atlanta area.
Buford has traveled 927 miles in taking road victories over Ware County, Carrollton, and last week at Jones County. Now, a relatively short 40-mile trek to Georgia State Stadium and a win over Warner Robins is all that stands in the way of the Wolves capturing their 12th state title and first since 2014.
The Demons, however, will offer the biggest challenge of the season for the Wolves.
Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. Friday. The game will be simulcast on WDUN AM 550 and WDUN FM 102.9 beginning at 4:30 p.m.
BUFORD vs. WARNER ROBINS
-- WHEN: 4:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta
-- RADIO: WDUN AM 550, WDUN FM 102.9
-- BUFORD (13-1): No. 2 seed Region 8; def. Jones County 29-0 -- semifinals; def. Carrollton 24-21 -- quarterfinals; def. Ware County 34-6 -- 2nd round; def. Decatur 43-6 -- 1st round
-- WARNER ROBINS (13-1): Region 1 champion; def. Starr's Mill 55-3 -- semifinals; def. Clarke Central 49-14 -- quarterfinals; def. Rome 25-17 -- 2nd round; def. Jonesboro 28-7 -- 1st round
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two teams. ... The Wolves are back into the finals for the first time since 2016 after seeing their streak of 11 straight Final 4s end last season. ... The Demons are in their third consecutive Class 5A state championship game. However, they lost to Rome 38-0 in 2017 and 47-41 to Bainbridge in 3 OTs in 2018. They last won a state title in 2004 beating Statesboro for the Class 4A crown. They won three titles from 1976 to 1988. ... Buford’s last state title came in 2014 in Class 4A and it was the last of 10 titles in a 14-year span. ... Both offensive and defensive matchups figure to be epic and no matter what happens, something will have to give for both teams. ... Warner Robins is 4th in 5A in scoring (35.71 ppg; 157 pts in playoffs, 39.25 ppg) while the Buford defense is 4th in points allowed (178, 12.71 ppg) but Buford has given up just 33 points (8.25 ppg) in the playoffs. The Demons are led by a potent triumvirate in Jr. QB Jalen Addie (144-of-278, 2,297 yds, 23 TD, 7 INT; 571 rush, 4 TD), Jr. RB Jahlen Rutherford (185 car, 1,290 yards, 5 TD), and Sr. RB James Smith (106 car, 934 yards, 1TD) ... Buford sacked Jones County QB Hunter Costlow 6 times, including one for a safety, last week. The Wolves have 37 sacks on the season... The Wolves offense is right behind the Demons in 5th (35.35 ppg) but has scored just 130 points in the playoffs (32.5 ppg). The Demons are 6th in defense (187, 13.3 ppg) and have yielded just 41 points (10.25 ppg) in the playoffs. ... Buford 3rd-string RB Victor Venn had another big game last week with 108 yards rushing, giving him 343 in the last two playoff games.
-- NEXT: 2020 season openers