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With non-region play over, what do we know about Forsyth football?

POSTED: September 19, 2013 3:46 p.m.
 

Tonight begins the playoff push for Forsyth teams. With non-region schedules done for five of the county’s six teams and region play starting, there’s one glaring question to ask about our teams: What do we know now?

FORSYTH CENTRAL

Good: The Bulldogs’ schedule gets much easier, which works out well for a rebuilding team under Shane Williamson. The spread option offense has continued to improve and fans should see progress each week. Central’s Ryan Hintz and Victor Peppers lead a defense that held Dawson County to 23 points last week.

Bad: The games against North and South couldn’t have gone much worse. The offense struggled with turnovers and repeatedly lost the battle at the line of scrimmage. Running backs have few holes to run through, forcing quarterback Michael Branigan to throw ineffective bubble screens.

— John McWilliams

LAMBERT

Good: Despite an offense that’s been ineffective at times and turnover-prone, the Longhorns’ defense has been more than respectable. It’s gotten big plays from a variety of players – Jordyn Jean-Felix, Connor McCann, Dillon Alexander, etc. This unit doesn’t appear to be a point of concern going forward.

Bad: Lambert has struggled to find an identity on offense. It has toyed with both the spread and Wing-T without much success. Sophomore running back Tucker Maxwell has shown to be a versatile weapon, but the Longhorns need to score more than the 15.3 points per game they’re averaging now.

— Brian Paglia

NORTH FORSYTH

Good: Not only are the Raiders winning, they’re winning convincingly. North has combined for 96 points over three games and is off to its best offensive start since 1999, when the team scored 111.  Shane Pierce and the Raiders’ defense have continued to play well, recording two shutouts.

Bad: We’ve seen this before from the Raiders. The team wins its first three games only to get pounded in region play. It’s tough to determine the weakest link of the team, partly because the schedule has been easy. Tonight should be a true litmus test for North.

— John McWilliams

PINECREST ACADEMY

Good: Aside from a 34-10 loss in its season-opener, Jose Medina and the Paladins’ defense have been solid in holding Cross Keys and Mt. Vernon to one touchdown each. Fullback Andrew Wilborn has emerged as the most reliable option on offense, rushing for a school-record 208 yards last week.

Bad: Pinecrest’s offense hasn’t gotten on track this season. The Paladins are averaging just 13.7 points per game through three games. Pinecrest knew it’d be tough to replace its top three playmakers from last season, and injuries, particularly at quarterback, haven’t made it any easier. 

— Brian Paglia

Good: The offense has been on fire. Isaiah Williams has secured his status as the best go-to option for South while quarterback Matt White  further progresses in the pocket. The offensive line may be the best in Forsyth County, as the group has owned each defense they’ve faced.

Bad:  South’s competition hasn’t been much. Its three non-region opponents have gone a combined 1-6. Like North, South started 3-0 last season before dropping its next six games. The War Eagles have developed a tendency this season to start slowly on offense, which won’t bode well for region play.

— John McWilliams

Good: Offense doesn’t appear to be a concern again. The Wolverines are averaging 32 points per game so far – not bad for a unit that had to replace virtually every significant skill position from last season. A solid offensive line, led by Georgia Tech-commit Andrew Marshall, has helped Hampton McConnell, Cole Staton and company.

Bad:  West’s defense has some work to do. It’s allowing 36 points per game, though to be fair the Wolverines have faced three high-caliber offenses in Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Starr’s Mill. The loss of DL Brett Anderson, a 2013 FCN Super Senior, hasn’t helped either. The good sign is that this unit has found a way to win the past two weeks.

— Brian Paglia

 

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