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West falls to Gainesville
West Forsyth’s Colton Cloud carries the ball during Friday's game at Gainesville. - photo by Sara Guevara

Bye week

* West Forsyth was the only local high school football team playing this week, with Forsyth Central and North and South Forsyth off.

* In JV action, Lambert defeated Forsyth Central 28-10.

GAINESVILLE -- West Forsyth fought hard, but in the end was undone by Gainesville's explosive offense and stingy defense.

The Wolverines held Gainesville, the state's top-ranked team in Class AAA, scoreless in the first quarter Friday, the first team to do that all season.

But with West threatening on offense at the end of the second quarter, the Red Elephants defense stepped up, forcing three straight negative plays.

The Wolverines ensuing field goal attempt came up short and Gainesville (6-0, 2-0) escaped the first half with a 7-0 lead.

Gainesville's offense got things going in the third quarter when quarterback Blake Sims connected with Tai-ler Jones for a 6-yard touchdown pass.

That was the second Sims-to-Jones touchdown of the game. The two connected for a 25-yard pass with 8:37 left in the second quarter to put Gainesville on the scoreboard.

Red Elephant linebacker Alberto Sanabria came up with a 29-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the third quarter that gave Gainesville a 27-0 lead.

That touchdown was Gainesville’s third of the quarter, which was a welcomed sight for head coach Bruce Miller, who watched his offense struggle in the first half.

"We were just shooting ourselves in the foot," Miller said. "You don’t like to be tested, but I was glad to see how we handled it."

They did it with defense, holding West Forsyth to 65 yards of offense and forcing two fumbles.

"When you play good defense, you can hang in there," Miller said.

Gainesville  rushed for 327 yards, including 119 from Teryan Rucker and 53 from Devon Pierce, who scored a touchdown in his first game back from a hamstring injury.

Not only are the Red Elephants healthy, but they finally passed a test, as well.

"We definitely needed a good test," Sanabria said. "This was a great test for our goal of winning a state title."

The next test for West Forsyth (3-3, 1-1 Region 7B-AAA) comes Oct. 16 when the Wolverines travel to Oakwood for a showdown with Johnson.

Next Friday's slate of high school games includes North Forsyth at South Forsyth, Marist at Forsyth Central.