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Buford’s Tobi Olawole (4) runs the football as teammate Bryson Banks (35) blocks during a 56-0 win over Lanier on Oct. 22, 2021 in Buford.

BUFORD — While the gear was new, the performance was vintage Buford.

Wearing new green helmets for an all-green look, the Wolves dominated the first half Friday night and cruised to a 56-0 victory over visiting Lanier in Region 8-AAAAAA football. After two quarters, their lead was 42-0 and the second half was played with a running clock on Senior Night.

Their new helmets, with area code 30518 on the back, were a hit in their long-awaited debut.

“We got (the helmets) last year and they came in but they were a little too dark,” Buford head coach Bryant Appling said. “It wasn’t the right green, so we sent them back. It’s been a bunch of delays with helmets. They finally got the paint right and the facemasks weren’t right. It just took us awhile. We got them in about three weeks ago and we’ve been waiting for the right night to pull them out and this was the perfect night for them, Senior Night. … I wish I would have recorded (the players’) reaction Monday when I showed them (the helmet). They went nuts. They’re really nice. I think they came out great.”

Buford, 7-1 overall and 4-0 in 8-AAAAAA, got a balanced night from its offense — 216 passing and 208 rushing — and an even better effort from the defense. The Wolves held Lanier to 21 yards (12 passing, nine rushing) and three first downs, two by penalty. The Longhorns (3-4, 2-2) got their only first down without the aid of a penalty on a Carson Thomas scramble in the first half.

“Our kids are just playing physical,” Appling said of the defense. “We went back after (a 7-0 loss to) Chaminade (-Madonna, Fla.) and we had three, four weeks of physical practices, JV, freshmen. We were hitting and tackling full speed for a little bit, for about 30, 40 minutes. We kind of backed off the last couple of weeks getting toward the end of region and the playoffs. I’m proud of how they’re coming out and being physical on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we didn’t have many busts tonight and that’s a big deal.”

The offense clicked without much resistance, too. Dylan Wittke completed 5 of 8 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and Ashton Daniels was 5-for-5 passing for 79 yards and another score. C.J. Clinkscales carried four times for 80 yards, and Victor Venn rushed eight times for 64 yards as the Wolves worked with great field position most of the game.

Tobi Olawole’s 24-yard TD run got things rolling in a first half that saw Buford score on all five of its offensive possessions. Venn and Eli Parks added 1-yard TD runs later in the first quarter. Nate Norys blocked a Lanier punt early in the second quarter and Malik Spencer returned it 26 yards for a 28-0 lead.

Wittke went to the air for Buford’s next two scores, a 69-yard pass to Isaiah Bond and a 5-yard pass to freshman Jordan Allen. The Wolves added a 12-yard TD pass from Daniels to Zack Salo in the third quarter and a 3-yard TD run by Christian Butler in the fourth quarter.

“I think they played a good all-around game,” Appling said.

BUFORD 56, LANIER 0

Buford 21 21 7 7 — 56

Lanier 0 0 0 0 — 0

FIRST QUARTER

Buford: Tobi Olawole 24 run (Alejandro Mata kick) 9:23

Buford: Victor Venn 1 run (Mata kick) 4:50

Buford: Eli Parks 1 run (Mata kick) 1:06

SECOND QUARTER

Buford: Malik Spencer 26 blocked punt return (Mata kick) 11:14

Buford: Isaiah Bond 69 pass from Dylan Wittke (Mata kick) 4:45

Buford: Jordan Allen 5 pass from Wittke (Mata kick) :22

THIRD QUARTER

Buford: Zack Salo 12 pass from Ashton Daniels (Mata kick) 4:23

FOURTH QUARTER

Buford: Christian Butler 3 run (Daniel Ortiz kick) 7:38

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