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BUFORD – The Buford Yellow Jackets returned home Friday night after a two-week road trip for BHS homecoming, and it was a happy occasion – a 10-6 Buford win.
GFHS took the opening kickoff, but was unable to sustain any offense.
The 3-2 Jackets forced a punt and BHS took over at its 42.
From there, Buford, as it has done all season, used its run-oriented attack to move down the field.
The Jackets, with a committee of running backs, produced their first, and only touchdown.
Senior Jacoby Funderburk, who rushed for 38 yards on the drive, found the end zone from 10 yards out for the score. Wade Lambert’s extra point gave BHS an early 7-0 lead.
From that point on, yards, much less points, were at a minimum.
The swarming Jackets’ defense, which allowed only 63 rushing yards to Lewisville a week ago, continued its aggressive attack.
The Red Devils’ next five possessions, spanning well into the second quarter, were all three-and-outs.
“I can’t say enough about our defensive effort,” BHS coach Mike Wells said. “The defensive unit, as a whole, is playing with a lot of confidence.”
The Jackets’ offense was held at bay for the remainder of the first half. Despite beginning drives at its 47 and 49-yard lines respectively, Buford couldn’t break the Red Devils’ defense and BHS led 7-0 at the half.
Buford took the opening kickoff to begin the third quarter. From their 30, the Jackets moved into GFHS territory, but came away empty.
All three of the Jackets drives in the third quarter saw them on the Great Falls side of the field only to still have the 7-point edge as the final quarter began.
The BHS defense continued its stout play, harassing the Red Devils and quarterback Chris Culp.
Great Falls couldn’t muster any offense as the Devils only ran eight offensive plays in the third quarter.
Fittingly, Buford senior Tijuan Dixon sacked Culp to cap the third quarter.
The fourth quarter opened with the Yellow Jackets again in good field position as they took advantage of the Dixon sack.
The sack forced the Red Devils deep into their territory with a fourth and 19. The GFHS punt took a Jackets’ bounce and they took over at the Great Falls’ 41.
Buford’s offense stalled, and as a result, was forced to punt.
GFHS, taking over at its 13, moved the ball to the 29 and faced a third and 17.
The Jackets’ defense attacked. Junior Kyle Norcia knocked the ball free, forcing the fumble and Dixon recovered.
Buford took advantage, as three plays later, Lambert connected on a season-long 37-yard field goal to put Buford up, 10-0.
Great Falls, with 6:02 left, broke through. GFHS, set up by a 55-yard pass to Marcus Davis, scored.
Culp found Jamarcus Culp on the receiving end of a 15-yard pass to put GFHS on the board. The point-after failed and BHS led and held on for what would be the final, 10-6.
“Offensively, we did enough to win, but we know we have a lot to work on,” Wells said.
Buford, 3-2, opens region play at Andrew Jackson on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
“I like the direction our team is headed right now,” Wells said. “I think we’ve improved from week to week and made strides in many areas.”
Defensively, BHS has allowed only 87 yards rushing the last two weeks combined. The Jacket defense did not allow a third-down conversion Friday night, holding GFHS to an 0-8.
Madison Flynn was crowned the 2013 Buford High School homecoming queen at halftime.