Shaun Diebel came back just in time to make the most of his final game on Forsyth Central’s home field.
Diebel tallied 80 receiving yards, 80 rushing yards, 80 passing yards and scored three touchdowns — one each way — to help the Bulldogs rip off 56 unanswered points Friday in a 56-14 victory over North Springs on Senior Night in Cumming.
The victory allowed Central (3-5, 1-4 Region 7B-AAAAA) to end a five-game losing streak.
“I’m going to remember that (game) for the rest of my life,” said Diebel, who missed the Bulldogs’ last two contests due to injury. “My biggest thing from this game was to give the juniors and sophomores underneath me hope (for the future). Today the seniors came out and led verbally and with our actions, and we just played our hearts out.”
Though Diebel posted the most impressive stat line of the night, plenty of his teammates got in on the fun.
The Bulldogs finished with 426 yards of total offense while holding North Springs (1-7, 0-5) to 179, including only 50 in the second half.
Central junior quarterback Jagger Hartshorn completed 4 of 7 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns, while senior receiver Robbie Repasz had three receptions for 113 yards and two scores.
Sophomore receiver Mark Heard also had a 42-yard touchdown reception to get the scoring started for Central, which fell behind North Springs 14-0 in the first quarter.
“We’ve faced a lot of adversity with injuries and things not going our way, and I said (to our guys) look, “We’ve been here before, we’re going to be OK,’” Central coach Shane Williamson said. “’We’re going to get some good things to happen. It’s like I was telling my coaches, look what momentum can do for you.”
Central tied the game 14-14 when Diebel snagged a pass at the line of scrimmage and sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown with 7:38 left in the second quarter.
North Springs threatened to reclaim the lead before halftime but fumbled at the Central 20, and the Bulldogs needed just one play to capitalize.
Diebel caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage this time and delivered an 80-yard bomb to Repasz to give Central its first lead of the night, 21-14, with 51.9 seconds left before halftime.
It was all Central in the second half.
The Bulldogs chewed up most of the clock in the third quarter with a nine-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Hunter Stephens.
Central recovered an ensuing pooch kick and capped a four-play drive when Repasz caught a pass while falling to the ground in the end zone, extending the lead to 35-14.
The Bulldogs got consecutive sacks on the first two plays of North Springs’ next drive, and Cedrick Dorsey recovered a fumble in the end zone on third down. That was the first of the team’s two defensive touchdowns.
Central added another score on a pick-six, and Diebel tacked on a 33-yard touchdown run.
“We looked like the team we started out the season with tonight,” Williamson said. “This was the first game that we had everybody back healthy and it showed. I’m real proud of these guys tonight.”