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Red zone blues hurt Central
Bulldogs can't cash in on scoring chances in 14-0 loss at Cambridge
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Forsyth Central senior Charlie Hernandez (59) tries to tackle Cambridge quarterback Bryan Moore in the Bulldogs' 14-0 loss Friday in a Region 7A-AAAAA game on the road. - photo by Colleen Bankston

MILTON – Forsyth Central traveled to Cambridge on Friday to take on the upstart Bears in a region matchup. The Bulldogs had great field position from start to finish but were never able to capitalize, falling 14-0 in a Region 7A-AAAAA game.

"It was a tough game to lose," Central coach Shane Williamson said. "Getting in the red zone and shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties really hurt us. We had great field position all night long, and we’ve really got to find a way to make something out of that. But we will continue to work hard and get better."

In addition to great field position, the Central (1-5, 1-1) offense was able to move the ball consistently, with quarterback Aubrey Blackman throwing for 132 yards on just 10 attempts and wide receiver Jeremiah Jones finished with 108 yards receiving and four catches on the night.

While the Bulldogs’ offense showed the ability to move the ball downfield, they were never able to take advantage in the red zone. On Central’s second possession of the game, the offense drove inside the Cambridge 5 yard line, only to be stopped on fourth down inside the 1. This proved to be a theme for the night as penalties and two missed field goals aided in the shutout by Cambridge (2-4, 1-1).

Just before the half, following a Cambridge touchdown, the Bulldogs’ passing game moved them inside the Cambridge 5 yard line. A roughing the passer penalty against Cambridge gave Central enough time for a play, but an offensive pass interference against Jones nullified what appeared to be a touchdown catch. After the penalty was assessed Central would miss a 37-yard field goal to end the half.

Central received the opening kick of the second half and moved the ball deep into Cambridge territory, reaching the 2 yard line before a holding penalty backed them up to the 12. On fourth-and-goal from the 12 yard line, Cambridge sacked Blackman for a 15-yard loss and a turnover on downs.

While Central was having its share of misfortune in the red zone, Cambridge was taking advantage. The Bears put the ball in the hands of quarterback Bryan Moore, who threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns. His ability to keep drives moving kept the Central offense on the sideline and helped keep the game out of reach for the Bears.