The big bad wolves are coming to Athens.

Friday night the Clarke Central Gladiators football team will play host to the Buford Wolves. This is the first ever meeting between the region foes, and with the back-half of the season underway, the push for the playoffs is heating up.

“This is a great opportunity and challenge for our kids,” Clarke Central head coach David Perno said. “You expect them to be playing for in game 15 so it’s great we get to see where we stand in terms of our team.”

While Perno expects the Wolves to be in the Class AAAAA championship, the push for his Gladiators to make the playoffs could get a big boost with a win on Friday.

After Clarke Central made the playoffs seven straight years between 2006-12, they have failed to make it the last three seasons. But in his first year as a head coach, Perno said he believed the Gladiators are poised for a turnaround this season.

“We have been getting better every game and we are playing the right way,” Perno said. “The improvements are there and we are heading in the right direction.”

Continuing to head in that right direction means facing off against the No. 1 team in Class AAAAA Georgia. Buford has won seven state titles in the last nine years and is posting a 3-1 record this season. It’s only loss this season came to Roswell, who is ranked No. 8 in the country.

The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Clarke Central on Friday.



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