Buford 35, Dacula 0

Nov. 20, 2020 - Buford, Ga: Buford running back Gabe Ervin (22) scores a touchdown after a reception against Dacula in the first half at Buford high school Friday, November 20, 2020 in Buford, Ga..  JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Nov. 20, 2020 - Buford, Ga: Buford running back Gabe Ervin (22) scores a touchdown after a reception against Dacula in the first half at Buford high school Friday, November 20, 2020 in Buford, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Buford left little doubt there’s a new sheriff in Region 8-6A.

The No. 2-ranked Wolves, who moved up a notch in classification this season, scored 21 first-quarter points in lightning style and ended Dacula’s reign as the king of the league with a 35-0 victory on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.

Buford (8-1) halted Dacula’s streak of 25 straight region wins and four consecutive region championships. The Wolves also maintained their inconceivable season-long streak of allowing no points in the first quarter.

No. 5 Dacula (6-3) will be the No. 2 seed from Region 8.

“It was a great week of practice,” Buford coach Bryant Appling said. “Our kids were amped up for this game and they have been since the they saw the schedule. They were on an even keel, they’ve been concentrating all week and they did a great job at handling their job and playing through the whistle every play.”

The Wolves set the tone on the opening kickoff. Jake Pope broke out of the pack and raced down the visitor’s sideline for a 55-yard return. Five plays later Gabe Ervin Jr. scored on a fourth-and-1.

“Jake set it up with the kickoff return and I finished it off,” Ervin said.

Dacula made a mistake on the kickoff and the returned stepped out at the 1. The Falcons picked up a first down, but had to punt and Buford started at its 47. This time it took the Wolves three plays to score, with Ervin catching a 27-yard pass from Wittke.

Buford struck again on the first play of its next possession. Ashton Daniels threw a 43-yard strike to Isaiah Bond and the Wolves had a 21-0 with three minutes left in the opening quarter.

“That start was good,” Ervin said. “We had to have a quick start. We had to punch them in the mouth.”

Buford made it 28-0 with a touchdown just 14 seconds left in the half. The key was a fake punt, with the ball snapped to upback Eli Parks, who went 37 yards. Pope finished it on the next play by hauling in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Wittke.

“Scoring after that fake punt just before halftime made a big difference,” Appling said.

The Wolves added a 79-yard touchdown run from Ervin early in the third quarter to put the game away.

Ervin, who has committed to Nebraska, ran nine times for 94 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 48 yards and one touchdown. Wittke completed 8 of 11 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Dacula running back Kyle Efford, who ran for 224 yards last week against Central Gwinnett, was limited to 38 yards on eight carries. Quarterback Blaine Jenkins completed 9 of 21 passes for 121 yards, but he was intercepted three times in the second half.

The Buford defense limited the Falcons to 32 yards rushing, as the Wolves had recorded three sacks and three other times were the beneficiary of errant snaps the resulted in big losses.

Coming up with interceptions for Buford were Malik Spencer, Ryland Gandy and defensive tackle Malik Cunningham.

“We had a phenomenal week of practice,” Ervin said. “We just did it. It feels great, but it’s not over. We’ve still have work to do.”

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