ATLANTA – Forsyth Central lost 39-33 in overtime after a late, fourth quarter rally by North Atlanta on Friday at Grady Stadium.
The Warriors got the ball to start overtime, and immediately ran it in from 15 yards out. Then, on Central’s first play of overtime, junior quarterback Jagger Hartshorn completed a pass to junior Hunter Stephens for six yards, but Stephens fumbled and North Atlanta recovered to end the game.
The Bulldogs led 33-14 entering the fourth quarter before the wheels fell off. The Warriors senior do-everything offensive player KD Welch quickly got the Warriors into the endzone to start the fourth quarter on a 16-yard run, the second of the four scores he would have in the game.
Then, with just under four minutes to play, Welch again ran in for a touchdown, this time from 21 yards. Finally, to tie the game before the end of regulation, Welch caught a 27-yard pass from junior quarterback Jack Ferguson, which was followed by a blocked extra point attempt to leave the game tied and send it to overtime.
The game was sloppy as the two teams combining for 28 penalties for 275 yards.
Central impressed through three quarters, even after falling behind 7-0 less than five minutes into the game. The Bulldogs outscored the Warriors 33-7 through the third quarter, led by a dominating ground-game performance from junior tailback Sabrian Howard who finished with 232 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
“I don’t know how many yards I got,” Howard said, “but it wasn’t all mine. It’s the [offensive] line, the rest of the team, everyone was just blocking great. I can’t do it all by myself. It was a tough loss though, so we just gotta keep moving. We just gotta keep playing late in the game.”
Hartshorn was also effective in the passing game completing 7 of 14 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bulldogs were led defensively by junior Quinton Peppers who had two tackles for a loss, including a sack.
North Atlanta was led on the ground by a two-headed-monster in Welch and senior Julious Washington, who combined for 249 yards on just 19 carries with three touchdowns. Ferguson ended the game completing 13 of his 25 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, they were able to force three turnovers, including the game-sealing fumble in overtime.
“[We have to] try to keep getting better,” Central head coach Shane Williamson said.
North Atlanta 39, Forsyth Central 33 (OT)
Forsyth Central 8 13 12 0 0_33
North Atlanta 7 7 0 19 6_39
NA_Welch 15 pass from Ferguson (Alejandro kick), 7:32
FC_Williams pass from Hartshorn (kick missed), 3:40
NA_Mcleod 11 pass from Ferguson (Alejandro kick), 10:53
FC_Woodward 43 pass from Hartshorn (Baker kick), 7:39
FC_Hartshorn 1 run (failed 2-pt), :37
FC_Howard 16 run (kick missed), 7:43
FC_Howard 65 run (failed 2-pt), 4:40
NA_Welch 16 run (failed 2-pt), 11:04
NA_Welch 21 run (Alejandro kick), 3:45
NA_Welch 27 pass from Ferguson (kick blocked), :27
NA_Washington 15 run (Blocked PAT)