By Cole Rogers
For the Forsyth County News
Forsyth Central put together its second dominating performance in as many weeks on Friday night, cruising to a 49-0 home rout over Clarkston.
Central controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball all night, and played lights out until the final whistle.
Clarkson started almost all of their drives within their own 20-yard line, and only passed midfield a couple of times. They didn’t get into the red zone once.
“We felt like if we played hard up front, we could shut down their run,” Central head coach Frank Hepler said. “We also thought we could run the ball, and the kids did a great job up front.”
Central started nearly every drive in Clarkston territory, and moved the ball with ease by running the ball over and over
Central rarely passed the ball, and just ran right at Clarkston all night. The Bulldogs had 289 total rushing yards, and every touchdown came from a rushing play.
Clarkston did their best, but ultimately didn’t have the size, ability, or depth to defeat this Central team.
Clarkston ended the game with 81 total offensive yards and weren’t able to get its offense moving at any point in the game.
Central’s defense barely gave Clarkston time to get out of the backfield when they ran the ball, and didn’t allow a single completed pass.
“Our defense has been lock down all year,” Central running back Solomon Gates said. “Our defense is probably the best in the county right now. Without a doubt.”
During the second half, Central was able to rest their starters and give younger players on their roster some quality reps.
Central ended up rushing with ten different players throughout the night, and had three of those players rush for at least 45 yards.
“That’s great preparation for myself and the other guys,” Gates said. “A play for me to take off is great because that means somebody else can get in and he has the possibility of making plays. “When we win like this, it’s an eco boost for next week for us to go practice even harder.”
Central didn’t score as many points when the starters were out, but they still maintained the same level of energy on both sides of the ball. They were able to continue their stout defense and their potent rushing attack.
The end of the game ended on a confusing note when it seemed like the Clarkston sideline was refusing to take the field to shake hands with Central.
Coach Hepler cleared up the confusion and explained it wasn’t bad sportsmanship on Clarkston’s part.
“Their coach said a few of his players were being kind of chippy, and that he’d rather not bring them out, ” Hepler said. “I respect the coach for recognizing that we both played hard tonight and avoided any problems.”
The Bulldogs have some strong momentum going right now, but they need to stay disciplined during their bye week.
A bye week is a great time for a team to get rested up and reenergized, but it can also cause a team to lose momentum and get rusty.
Central will need to stay focused and be prepared when they take on North Forsyth in their first region matchup of the season on Oct. 11.