Buford had its back against the ropes for most of the night, but it found a way to take down Mallard Creek (North Carolina) and avoid a devastating loss for a team which just entered the top five in the national rankings.
Following an upset win over St. Frances Academy (Maryland) in its season opener, Buford made a trip to Charlotte to take on North Carolina powerhouse Mallard Creek. The Wolves, who entered the matchup No. 5 in the SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25 national rankings, overcame a slow start and left with a 10-7 victory, improving to 2-0 on the season and staying in the conversation as a national title contender.
After trailing 7-0 entering the second half, five-star Georgia commit Dylan Raiola connected with five-star Florida State commit KJ Bolden on a 41-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and tied the game 7-7.
Buford took its first lead of the night during the fourth quarter on what turned out to be the game-winning field goal.
Bolden and four-star Georgia commit Jadon Perlotte helped the seal the victory with a pair of interceptions in the final minutes, stifling Mallard Creek’s attempts to pull off a game-winning drive.
Mallard Creek took an early lead when Rutgers commit Benjamin Black took a screen pass 80 yards for a touchdown. It was the first score allowed by the vaunted Buford defense on the young season.
Buford (2-0) will stay in-state next week but will travel to North Cobb.
The next high-profile matchup for the Wolves will be Oct. 13 at Mill Creek (Georgia), a region game between two teams currently ranked in the top 25 nationally.