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Buford's Alejandro Mata kicks a field goal in a 16-3 win over Clarke Central on Aug. 28, 2021, in Athens.

Myers Park (N.C.) Mustangs (AAAA West)

Coach: Curtis Fuller

Record: 2-1

Last week: Beat Reagan (N.C.) 35-20

Buford Wolves (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Bryant Appling

Record: 2-0

Last week: Had a bye

Buford had an off week to work on things after two battles to open the season. The reigning Class AAAAAA state champions overcame a halftime deficit in a 35-27 win over AAAAAAA state title contender North Cobb in the opener, then got all it wanted the next week in a 16-3 win at Clarke Central. The win over Clarke wasn’t decided until a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jake Pope on the game’s final play.

Buford led 7-0 at halftime after holding Clarke to minus-3 yards after two quarters, but saw its lead shrink to 7-3 midway through the fourth quarter. Alejandro Mata’s field goal with 16 seconds left stretched the lead to 10-3 before Buford’s defense created a turnover — a fitting end to a night when it carried the load as the offense struggled to score against Clarke. In addition to Pope, the defense also got stellar play from Aubrey Smith (six tackles, one for loss, one sack, one caused fumble) and K.J. Bolden (three tackles, one for loss, two pass breakups).

A more steady offensive performance is the goal Friday night when the Wolves welcome Myers Park, a North Carolina power from Charlotte, for their home opener at Tom Riden Stadium.

The Mustangs average 304.7 passing yards behind quarterback Lucas Lenhoff, a 6-foot-2 senior who has completed 51 of 77 passes (66.2 percent) for 914 yards and nine touchdowns. Camarion Thornton has been the top playmaker with 13 catches for 325 yards and three TDs.

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: First meeting

Location: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford

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