It may have been by four more points than last year, but the 2010 Class AA championship game between Calhoun and Buford had a bit more drama than the 2009 match-up between Calhoun and Buford and certainly more fireworks than the 2008 match-up…between Calhoun and Buford. These two squads have met for the last three Class AA state titles and just like the last two years, the Buford Wolves came out on top, this time 31-24 in overtime. The win marked the fourth straight state title for Buford and sixth of the last nine years.
Buford looked like they might run away early and hide after Seon Jones scored from four yards out on the Wolves’ first possession. Ryan Dillard then scooped a Dustin Christian fumble and darted all the way in for the score, making it 14-0 Wolves. With Buford up by two scores and driving, Calhoun’s defense rose up and stopped the Wolves, allowing Christian to atone for the fumble with a four-yard touchdown to cut it to 14-7. Buford added a field goal before halftime and snuffed out another last ditch drive by Calhoun to take the 17-7 lead into halftime. Coming out of halftime, Calhoun was forced to punt, then gave Buford great field position with a penalty. The Wolves took advantage and put a touchdown on the board on a long pass play from Alex Ross, who was nearly perfect on the night, to Kurt Freitag, to extend the lead to 24-7. Dustin Christian would score his second touchdown on the game on the next drive after starting on a short field to bring the Yellow Jackets to within ten at 24-14 and the Calhoun defense would stand tall several more times, forcing several punts.
In the fourth quarter, Calhoun quarterback Landon Curtis hit Chase Rierson for a score to bring the Yellow Jackets to within three points, setting up an Adam Griffith 45-yard game-tying field goal with ten seconds left to force overtime.
Buford would get the ball first and would be aided by a penalty, setting up a Dominique Swope score for the 31-24 lead. On fourth down, Curtis flipped the ball incomplete and Buford became the first school since West Rome in the mid-80s to claim four straight state titles.
The scary part about the entire game was the feeling that this might just be the best chance to knock off Buford as most of their team in the trenches and on the defensive side of the ball is made up of juniors. Perhaps 2011 might just be the year that Buford leaves West Rome and the rest of Georgia behind in the record books.