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South Forsyth falters late in 38-31 loss at Mountain View

POSTED: August 23, 2014 12:52 a.m.
For the Forsyth County News/studio1.pics

South Forsyth junior Grant Umberger makes a tackle against Mountain View. Umberger also ran for a touchdown in the second quarter.

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LAWRENCEVILLE – South Forsyth began their season opener at Mountain View on Friday in convincing fashion, jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first half. However, a second half surge from the Bears turned the game into a high-scoring shootout that stunned the War Eagles in a 38-31 defeat.

South (0-1) looked to have the game well in hand for the first two quarters but quickly saw control slip away from them as Mountain View (1-0) went on a scoring tear in the second half and wrestled the momentum away from the War Eagles as the contest reached its climax.

Costly mistakes, including a bad snap, a fumble deep in Bears territory, poor play recognition by the defense and a number of avoidable penalties, plagued the War Eagles in the second half. The teams slugged it out offensively, trading touchdowns several times over and ballooning the score to 31-31 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Utilizing their two minute offense, Mountain View made the decisive drive of the game, engineering a 4-play, 56-yard drive that saw wide receiver Cameron Hankins slice through the middle of the South defense to snag a play-action pass, putting the Bears up 38-31 with 55 seconds left.

After a costly South penalty, the night ended with a relative whimper as War Eagles quarterback Matt White was sacked on fourth and long to bring the game to a close.

"We made a ton of mistakes," South coach Jeff Arnette said. "I just told our team that we were lucky to even be in a game with as many mistakes as we had. Part of it was due to the heat tonight, but both teams have to deal with it. We just made way too many mistakes."

Both teams began the game slowly, trading punts and accomplishing little offensively, but it didn't take long for the War Eagles’ defense to break the early stalemate in the second quarter. South junior Curtis Roach undercut a wayward pass and snagged an acrobatic interception, putting his offense in great field position. White led the War Eagles on a methodical, 8-play, 43-yard drive that resulted in a bruising rushing touchdown by junior Grant Umberger (6 carries, 23 yards, TD) drawing first blood for South with 10:13 left in the second quarter.

South struck again just over a minute later when junior Jalen Camp (2 catches, 76 yards, TD) intercepted a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage and sprinted down the field for a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown to make it 14-0.

When the teams returned for the second half, Mountain View came out swinging like a cornered boxer, catching South completely by surprise. The Bears scored in the first few minutes of the half as platoon quarterback Alex Scott (5-for-8, 78 passing yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 78 rushing, TD) put his team on the board with a quick touchdown pass to Cameron Hankins (7 catches, 69 yards, 2 TD).

On South's next drive, consecutive penalties backed the team up inside its own 5-yard line and resulted in a safety after White was sacked in the end zone. Mountain View scored again on its first play after the safety punt due to a blown coverage deep downfield to take its first lead, 17-14.

With the sting of defeat fresh in his mind, coach Arnette cited a need to shore up mistakes as the season continues on.

"We got plenty of work ahead of us," Arnette said. "We made a lot of mistakes as a coaching staff. I told our guys that we are far enough in our program that I can tell it like it is, and we have to find a way to not make those kinds of mistakes."

 

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