No worries for Buford … Firsts for Hampton, Woodland

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Buford - Anthony GrantShould the rest of the teams in Class AAAAA be invigorated because Buford lost its season opener?


Perhaps the 24-7 loss to Roswell, the No. 3-ranked team in Class AAAAAAA (wow, that’s seven A’s), in the Corky Kell Classic at McEachern, showed that the Wolves may not be invincible.

However, Roswell coach Tom Ford was effusive in his praise of Buford after the game, saying, “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that those guys are going to play for the state championship. They’re an outstanding football team, well coached and with good players on both sides of the ball.”

Seems like a similar thing happened to Buford last year. The Wolves were beaten 37-14 by McEachern in the third week, but rebounded to reach the state championship game.

Buford coach Jess Simpson said his club is far from ready to enter freakout mode. They will instead react the proper way: evaluate and improve.

“There’s going to be bunch of film watched,” Simpson said. “I believe that by the end of the year this could be a special football team. I really do. We’ve got some great senior leadership. We’ve got some young guys who are great followers. This (loss) will eat them up and they’re going to want to get better.”

Despite the loss, the Wolves remained No. 1 in the rankings.Buford is idle this week.

Hampton logoHampton earns first win: Hampton won its first varsity football game on Friday. The Hornets beat Morrow 32-6 behind the efforts of quarterback Jaquan Smith and running back Derrick Oliver. The Hampton defense did not allow a score, as Morrow’s points came on a fumble recovery and return.

Hampton, the youngest Clayton County school, struggled like many new programs. The Hornets lost their first 19 games, going 0-10 and 0-9 in their first two seasons.

woodland wins with trophyWoodland climbs into rankings for first time: Woodland of Stockbridge has poked its head into the state rankings for the first time in school history. Coach Steve Davenport’s Wolfpack routed Union Grove 55-6 in the opener and is 10th in this week’s rankings. The program is in its 10th season, the third under Davenport, and is coming off back-to-back 7-3 seasons. Woodland has made only one playoff appearance, that coming in 2009.

Good start for Clarke, Perno: The David Perno Era began at Clarke Central with a 31-0 win over Winder-Barrow. Quarterback Jack Mangel ran for two touchdowns and operate the offense with efficiency. But the real story was defense, where the Gladiators came up with three interceptions (Zay Brown, Austin Harris and Jaylon Bonner) and kept pressure on the quarterback all night.

“I can’t say enough good things about (the defense). I mean, turnovers, speed, getting to the quarterback… we gave up a couple of explosive plays, but all in all it was a great effort by the defense,” Perno told the Athens Banner-Herald.

Good start for Carrollton, Calhoun: Sean Calhoun won his debut as head coach as the No. 7 Trojans beat Newnan 16-6. Jaylan Thomas led Carrollton with 78 rushing yards and scored on a 41-yard run that clinched the game.

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