Brian Adams made Wendell Early’s home debut at South Forsyth a good one.
Adams ran for a 76-yard touchdown and threw for another score as the War Eagles posted a 30-18 victory over South Gwinnett Friday night at War Eagle Field.
The game marked the first win at South Forsyth for Early, who is in his first season as the War Eagles’ head coach.
But it was Adams who captured the spotlight on this night, helping the War Eagles shake off an early South Gwinnett field goal and take the lead for good.
Adams was responsible for 274 yards of total offense, including 161 yards rushing on 21 attempts — an average of almost eight yards per carry.
Sophomore running back Brett Charron (41 yards rushing on 13 carries) also accounted for two touchdowns for the Eagles (1-1), who bounced back after a loss last week at Alpharetta.
South Forsyth fell behind 3-0 in the first quarter, but quickly grabbed the momentum when Adams turned what appeared to be a routine running play into a 76-yard sprint down the sideline to paydirt for a 7-3 lead with 6:27 left.
“That was lucky,” Adams said with a grin. “The offensive line did a great job.”
Just over three minutes later, the quarterback burned South Gwinnett with his arm, finding receiver David Knorr down the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown after a timely pump-fake. The Eagles pushed their lead to 12 following a two-point conversion.
“We had some big plays early which really helped us,” Early said. “We got ahead and we played more confidently.”
But Adams wasn’t done.
After the Comets closed to 15-9 in the second, the versatile senior connected with receiver Sean Malone for 46 yards, resulting in an Eagles’ first-and-goal at the 1. Charron closed the drive by plowing into the end zone for the touchdown, giving South Forsyth a 22-9 advantage with 6:40 remaining in the half.
In an offensively inefficient second half for both teams, Adams threw one final dagger, after the War Eagles were awarded a short field after a poor Comets’ punt. He ran for a first down, which eventually led to another Charron one-yard score on a direct snap early in the fourth quarter.
The lead climbed to 30-16 after a successful two-point conversion.
Led by Sean Dauenhauer (seven tackles, two sacks), Eric Sundby (nine stops, a recovered fumble), Curtis Parker (eight tackles) and Salem Collins (six stops), the Eagles’ defense held the Comets scoreless in the closing half.
South Forsyth prevented South Gwinnett from converting two fourth-down tries in the fourth quarter and proved to be even stingier by forcing and recovering a fumble on the goal line with just seconds left.
If the Eagles had not opted to take a safety to protect the lead, the Comets would not have gotten on the scoreboard in the second half.
“Out defense just shut (South Gwinnett) down,” Adams said. “[It] was just phenomenal.”
Early also congratulated the defense for an improved effort over the previous week.
The War Eagles are home again this Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the Region 7-AAAAA opener against North Gwinnett.