MARIETTA – On paper the No. 5-ranked Kell Longhorns might have seemed to outclass the Forsyth Central Bulldogs, but on the field it was quite a different story.
In a game where momentum was key, Central ended up on the wrong side of the pendulum against Kell when the final whistle blew on a 28-14 loss Friday in a Region 7-AAAAA, Div. B game.
The Longhorns jumped out to a 7-0 lead early in the game when Corey Robinson scooped up Central quarterback Trey Abercrombie’s fumble and took the ball in for a touchdown.
Just five minutes later, Kell added on another touchdown when Evan Carnes caught a 6-yard touchdown from quarterback Cameron Rosendahl to make it 14-0.
Not to be phased by the early attack from the Longhorns, Central continued their persistent ground and pound attack against the Kell defense.
The Bulldogs answered with a nine-play drive of their own ending in an Abercrombie 1-yard quarterback sneak for the touchdown early in the second quarter.
"That’s what we do, that’s our identity and that’s what we came out to do," Central head coach Shane Williamson said. "That is what’s keeping us in these football games."
With strong defensive stands for most of the second quarter and early into the third, the scoring resumed when Central running back Shaun Diebel broke off a long 38-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14 with 2:50 left in the third quarter.
Diebel did most of the damage for the Bulldogs finishing the game with 23 carries for 158 yards and one touchdown. Sabrian Howard also carried the ball well for Central resulting in 16 carries for 93 yards.
"We’ve got two great running backs," Diebel said speaking on himself and Howard. "If we run our offense right, we can drive the ball down the field."
"If I didn’t run the ball hard I felt like I would let my team down," Diebel said after the game. "I really wanted to pound it away because I really wanted this game in my pocket; I figured if we could keep smashing it down their throats we could possibly win the game."
On the first play from scrimmage after Diebel’s touchdown, Kell scored its own long touchdown on a 73-yard pass to Josh Blancato to take the lead back, 21-14, with 2:35 left.
The momentum stayed with Kell the rest of the game with Rosendahl adding on a 1-yard rushing touchdown midway through the fourth to put the nail in the coffin.
"This program has got to learn how to win," Williamson said. "We’ve just got to keep getting better, we’ve got six or seven sophomores that are starting and they’re learning every day."