ATLANTA — The downpour did little to dampen an emotional Friday night for Forsyth Central — emotional in several senses. On the field, Tucker’s running backs painfully humbled the visitors 49-0, a result that ended Central’s hopes of featuring in the postseason.
During the post-game huddle, though, coach Chris Bennett didn’t reflect on this disappointment.
“I can’t say enough about our seniors,” he said, as teammates cried on each other’s shoulders. “There were a lot of firsts this year, and they left a legacy for our underclassmen.”
Those still in tears during the long walk to the bus were consoled by fans who remained resolutely vocal throughout a one-sided contest.
Defensively, the Bulldogs (5-5 overall, 5-4 Region 6-AAAA) failed to halt a running game that oozed strength, speed and guile.
Offensively, Bennett’s decision to start sophomore quarterback Cameron Moore, which freed Dustin Canon as a running back, never troubled fifth-ranked Tucker (9-1, 8-1).
“They played their tails off, they’re a great team,” Bennett said of the Tigers. “We knew they were an excellent team and we’ve got to play with teams like that to do well in this division.”
On Friday, Tucker was in a division of its own. That much was apparent from the opening possession, when Devin Scott burst into the end zone from a yard out, capping a 63-yard drive. It was the first of four first-half touchdowns by the hosts.
The diminutive Scott, who recently returned from injury, marked his comeback with a sensational follow-up in the first quarter’s final seconds. Finding the outside, he sped down the sideline to score from 40 yards, slippery conditions apparently not a factor.
Meanwhile, Central was sputtering. A miscued ‘toss right’ by Moore to Canon saw Tucker regain possession at the Bulldogs’ 15-yard line. Despite some admirable red-zone defense, a facemask penalty paved the way for Jonathan Davis to move the Tigers into a 21-0 lead with a one-yard scoring run.
Even a quarterback change, with Canon taking the snaps, brought no reversal in Central’s fortunes. Drayton Calhoun, one of several Tucker scorers, punished another Bulldog fumble, this time at their 30-yard line, to score from 20 yards to round off the first half.
The misery continued for the Bulldogs in the second half. Tucker quarterback Chris Beck, whose arm saw little action due to the conditions, scored on a 40-yard draw play midway through the third quarter.
Ryan Mickel continued the onslaught with another fine touchdown run, this time from 63 yards, before Tyrelle Poole punished another Central fumble with a 2-yard score to round the scoring.
The result — combined with a 14-0 Chamblee win over Miller Grove — dropped Central into a three-way tie for fourth place in the region with those two teams, without a chance of winning the tiebreak.