A backyard brawl highlighted the high school football schedule Friday night, the ninth week of the 2010 season, as West and North Forsyth met for the third year in a row and the first time as region rivals.
* North Forsyth 21, West Forsyth 0
North Forsyth used a dominant defensive outing and a handful of big plays on offense to smack first place West Forsyth 21-0 in a packed Raider Valley, throwing the Region 6-AAAAA picture into disarray with three weeks left in the season.
Five teams are tied for first place in the region in the loss column, with West (6-2, 3-1) maintaining a one-half game lead due to having played one more game than North, Centennial, Milton and Roswell, each of whom is 2-1 in region play.
After a scoreless first quarter, North (3-4, 2-1) broke through with 2:32 left before halftime as quarterback Joey Vicary (90 yards rushing, 66 yards passing, three touchdowns) connected with Nick Saponara on a 40-yard scoring strike.
North added a touchdown in each of the last two quarters.
"In rival games, especially games with big crowds and high emotions, the team that usually can play as close to normal as possible and maintain focus usually wins, and I thought we did that," said North head coach Jared Zito.
"We played really hard, but we played really smart."
For the visiting Wolverines, the game was an offensive nightmare. West netted 91 yards from scrimmage for the game.
It was the team's second straight shutout loss to the Raiders.
"You know, they're a good football team and we didn't match their intensity tonight," West head coach Frank Hepler said of North. "They played like a team [motivated] out of desperation, and we didn't, so we've got to start playing like that."
Both teams are at home Friday. North welcomes Centennial to Coal Mountain, while West takes on Milton.
* Lambert 21, Woodland 7
CARTERSVILLE -- It may not always be pretty for the Lambert Longhorns, but all they seem to be doing is winning football games.
Sophomore backup quarterback Brock Maxwell threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass as Lambert (6-1, 6-1) once again used a team effort on offense and a tough defense when it counted to post a 21-7 victory over Woodland in a Region 7-AAAA game.
"Our defense has been solid all year for us," said Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell, whose team has won five straight games and clinched a winning season with the victory. "Right now, as our team continues to grow, the key is finding ways to win football games and that's what we've been doing."
Senior fullback Nick Croft did a lot of the heavy lifting offensively for Lambert, finishing with 152 yards on 23 carries.
Lambert tallied 16 first downs and 338 yards of offense in the game. Woodland, which became the sixth opponent held to seven points or less by the Longhorns this season, had 169 yards of offense in the loss.
Lambert returns to The Horn next week to face Sequoyah.
* Rome 28, South Forsyth 21
A powerful Rome rushing attack picked up a slew of big gains while South Forsyth turned the ball over four times in a 28-21 loss to the Wolves at War Eagle Field.
“When you turn the ball over that much it is hard to win,” said South head coach Jeff Arnette. “Usually the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game and that is what happened tonight.”
While the turnovers (three fumbles, one interception) plagued South’s offense, the defense struggled with missed tackles throughout the night.
Rome's running game pounded through the South defense for a total of 285 yards on 46 carries. In the second half alone the Wolves' running game put up 258 yards.
On offense South fared little better, rushing for just 76 yards on 31 carries. As a result, most of the offense for the War Eagles came through the air. Quarterback Nick Belyew threw for 191 yards and a score on 15-for-23 passing.
South (5-2, 5-2) travels to Johns Creek Friday to face the Gladiators.
* Northwest Whitfield 29, Forsyth Central 16
TUNNEL HILL -- A reversal of fortunes helped Northwest Whitfield overcome Forsyth Central’s early charge and down the Bulldogs 29-16.
Nathan Sistrunk provided the steady pounding running game that helped Northwest hold on to its lead, but a reverse option to Clifford Phillips keyed the Bruins comeback from an early deficit.
“The reverse was the biggest momentum changer of the game,” said Central head coach Chris Bennett. “It seemed like every time they needed a big play they ran it. We just didn’t make our assignments.”
The Bruins offense stalled on its first possession, including an errant snap, which set up an eight-play, 72-yard drive by Central (0-7, 0-7) that ended with Alex Taylor’s 1-yard plunge to open the scoring.
Northwest fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Bulldogs went on a quick march that culminated in a 43-yard field goal by Anel Ramic to take a 10-0 lead.
Central returns home Friday to face Creekview in another Region 7-AAAA game.
* Pinecrest 14, King's Ridge Christian 7
* For complete coverage of all the games, see the next edition of the Forsyth County News.