Ninety-eight yards from the end zone, seven minutes left on the clock and facing a four-point deficit, North Forsyth put it all together at just the right time Friday night.
After four consecutive losses to open the season, North broke through when it mattered most. Sophomore quarterback Harris Roberts plunged in from one yard out with 55.8 seconds left, and the Raiders held off defending region champion Roswell 24-21 at Raider Valley to earn their first victory of the season in the Region 6-AAAAA opener.
The Raiders (1-4, 1-0 Region 6-AAAAA) had been outscored by a combined total of 89-0 in their two previous games.
“There really is no feeling to describe it,” Roberts said as jubilant teammates celebrated around him. “It’s unbelievable.”
Roswell fell to 0-5 on the season.
West Forsyth 70, Centennial 20
Jake Wieczorek made up for lost time Friday night.
After missing West Forsyth’s last two games with a hand injury, the junior wing back scored four touchdowns on just eight touches in the Wolverines’ 70-20 victory over Centennial at The Den.
In a game that was virtually over by halftime, Wieczorek (101 yards receiving on 4 catches, 122 yards rushing on four carries) highlighted an offensive effort that produced touchdowns on 10 of 11 possessions. Quarterback A.J. Erdely threw for four scores, and his favorite target on the night chalked up more first-half yards than the entire Knights (1-4, 0-1 Region 6-AAAAA) offense.
Erdely (9-for-11 passing, 212 yards) also hit wing back Lance Belue and tight end Ty Anderson for touchdown passes. Running back Blake Roberts (75 yards on 8 carries) added two touchdowns on the ground for West (5-0, 1-0).
“Obviously the point total’s nice,” Wolverines coach Frank Hepler said. “We saw some things that we’ve been working on come through … I’m just pleased with how [my players] want to get better. The old Knute Rockne speeches aren’t really needed for these guys. They’re a self-motivated group.”
South 35, Cass 21
WHITE — Entering just the fourth game of the season, South Forsyth coach Jeff Arnette knew his team had to beat Cass to keep any playoff hopes alive.
The War Eagles turned to the legs of quarterback Jantzen Jeffrey and running back Hunter Beeghley, who led a 35-21 win over the Colonels in Bartow County and got their team back to .500 in the Region 7-AAAA standings.
“We knew coming in here that we had to win this game to have a chance at the playoffs,” Arnette said. “It was crucial for us. We are not good enough right now to win six straight region games, but tonight gives us some momentum.
“We just have to practice hard and keep getting better.”
The War Eagles (2-2 overall, 2-2 Region 7-AAAA) put the struggles of the last few weeks behind them early, scoring on their first three possessions. Last-place Cass remained winless.
Holy Innocents 35, Pinecrest 0
Pinecrest Academy’s football team couldn’t find a way to stop No. 10-ranked Holy Innocents’ rushing attack Friday night.
The Golden Bears tallied 258 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in a 35-0 win on senior night at the Paladins’ field.
“Overall, we just didn’t stop the run,” Pinecrest head coach Charles Wiggins said. “They ran all over us and ran for a lot of yards and we didn’t stop it and that’s what happens.”
Holy Innocents running back Lee Davis led the Golden Bears (4-1 overall, 2-0 Region 5N-A) with six carries for 71 yards and a touchdown, while teammate Jason Grimes added four carries for 64 yards and three touchdowns.
Pinecrest (2-3, 0-2) joined Fellowship Christian as the only 5N-A teams without a region win.
Woodland (Bartow) 39, Central 13
CARTERSVILLE — With its star signal caller back in good health and a return to form from its biggest offensive weapon from last season, the Woodland football team had too much ammunition for visiting Forsyth Central.
The Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs 39-13 Friday night to end a two-game skid.
“Tell you what, it was rough the whole game,” Central head coach Chris Bennett said. “Hats off to Woodland. They played a tremendous game, and we didn’t. They beat us in all three phases of the game tonight.”
Woodland junior quarterback R.J. Williams accumulated 161 yards of offense, including two passing touchdowns and one score rushing, and Cambrell Turner averaged close to five yards on 13 carries.
Woodland (3-2, 3-2 Region 7-AAAA) scored on its first three possessions, benefiting from an average starting field position of its own 46-yard line.
The Bulldogs (1-3, 1-3) finally got on the scoreboard when quarterback Spencer Transue found receiver Duncan Burch for a 76-yard score with 6:41 left in the game.
Central tallied 142 yards of total offense. Transue finished with 96 yards and one score on 5-of-12 passing.
For complete coverage of all the games, see the next edition of the Forsyth County News. For the latest in Forsyth County sports, follow sports writer Phil Ervin on Twitter @PhilErvin_FCN.