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Buford football must forfeit two victories

A clerical error has cost the Buford football program two victories, the Georgia High School Association announced Monday.

The Wolves, previously unbeaten in Region 7-AAA, must forfeit a Sept. 28 win over Banks County and an Oct. 5 win over West Hall because an academically ineligible player competed in those two games. The student in question played only the final two plays of both games, won 63-0 and 61-0 by Buford.

"We have to deal with it," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "I think these kids will respond. The past is the past. The only thing we can control is moving forward. That's what we're going to do."

Buford reported in a release that the forfeitures are the result of the high school's athletic department discovering last week that the football player's name had been inadvertently left off a required GHSA eligibility form. Then, upon checking the student's records, it was determined that the football player did pass the required classes last semester, but was not on track for graduation and did not have the total number of Carnegie units required to be eligible.

Buford reported the violation to the GHSA, which ruled on the situation. The organization also fined the school $250.

The Wolves now fall to 2-2 in the region (4-3 overall) and into a logjam in the playoff chase, while North Hall (4-0) becomes the clear favorite to win the region title. Buford and North Hall play each other Nov. 9 in the regular-season finale.

In the last 11 years, Buford has failed to win its region only once — in 2009, when it was upset by Lovett in the region opener.