Saturday January 22nd, 2022 12:28AM

Class 6A finals: Wolves go for 3rd straight, Hughes looking for 1st state title

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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ATLANTA — Buford and Langston Hughes will meet for the second time in two seasons on Friday in the Class 6A playoffs.

This time, however, it will be for the Class 6A state title. The perennial power and defending 6A state champion Wolves (13-1) are a heavy favorite to repeat but the Panthers (13-1) bring in one of the more balanced and potent offenses in the state to Center Parc Stadium.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m and can be heard live on AM 550 and FM 102.9 WDUN.

Here is a capsule look at the matchup:

-- WHEN: 7 p.m. 
-- WHERE: Center Parc Stadium, Atlanta
-- LANGSTON HUGHES (13-1, Region 4-6A champion): Defeated Dacula 47-28 last week in the semifinals
-- BUFORD (13-1 Region 8-6A champion): Defeated Carrollton 21-6 last week in the semifinals
-- NOTABLE: Buford leads series 1-0. ... The Wolves won 44-15 in 2020 in the 6A quarterfinals. ... Buford is going for its third consecutive title and has won 12 titles since 2001. The Panthers are into the finals for the first time in their 13-year history. ... Hughes is 2-0 vs. Region 8-6A teams this season, beating Shiloh 28-8 in the 2nd round and Dacula last week. Buford also went 2-0 vs. those two teams giving up just 7 total points. ... The Wolves have been unbeatable in the playoffs since Bryant Appling took over. They are 14-0 in the playoffs under Appling since 2019. ... The obvious key in this one was much like last week. The Buford defense has been the stingiest in Class 6A allowing just 90 points (6.4 ppg) while the Panthers offense has scored the 2nd-most points in 6A (551, 39.3 ppg). Carrollton last week was the highest-scoring team in 6A and managed just two field goals. ... Hughes is as balanced as they come averaging 189 yards rushing and 182 yards passing a game. The key matchup may be the Buford secondary of Jake Pope, Isaiah Bond, Ryland Gandy, and KJ Bolden against the Panthers passing attack. ... Hughes So. QB Prentiss Noland (2,473 yards passing, 33 TD, 7 INT) is a pocket-passer. He has just 30 yards rushing on 31 carries. Rodney Shelley leads the Panthers with 725 yards receiving on 36 catches with 10 TDs. Sr. Armani Tookes has 38 catches for 583 yards and 8 TD and Jr. Jelani Thurman has 29 catches for 462 yards and 7 TD. Antonio Martin (Georgia Tech-commit) has 953 yards and 14 TD rushing. ... The Hughes defense is 2nd in 6A yielding just 8.9 ppg. The Panthers have forced 28 turnovers and are plus-21 in turnover ratio. ... Buford is averaging 35.5 ppg behind QB Ashton Daniels (Stanford-commit), Sr. RB Victor Venn (Colorado-commit), and Sr. WRs Bond and Pope (both Alabama-commits). The Wolves have averaged just 24 ppg in their last two playoff games but the defense has given up just 6 total points in that span.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Buford football
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