No. 23 Buford receives a scare on the way to its third straight Georgia high school football championship

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Buford is now a three-time defending Georgia high school football champ, but the road to No. 3 had a lot of twists-and-turns Friday night at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.

It all started with the Wolves, ranked No. 23 in the High School Football America 100 national rankings, powered by NFL Play Football, falling behind 14-0 against No. 116 Langston Hughes.

Related: HSFA 100

Buford, which has now won 14 overall state championships, closed to within a touchdown, just before the end of the half on C.J. Clinkscales’ touchdown.

The Wolves tied it at 14-14 in the 3rd quarter, but LH didn’t fold. The Panthers grabbed a 20-14 lead on Antonio Martin’s touchdown.

Martin, who is headed to Georgia Tech, played hurt, but still finished with 166 yards on 25 carries.

LH missed the extra point, which would come back to haunt the Panthers.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Buford put together a 75-yard drive that ended with a Ashton Daniels, a Stanford-recruiting, hooking-up with Tobi Olawole for a 34-yard scoring strike for a 21-20 lead.

Langston Hughes didn’t fold,again. The Panthers drove the field to set-up a 35-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game. It was the first FG attempt of the season for the Panthers.

The attempt came-up short, giving Buford a 21-20 victory.

Buford head coach Bryant Appling, a longtime assistant with the Wolves, is now a perfect 3-for-3 in state championship games since taking-over the program three years ago.

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.