THE GRIND: Lambert Softball's Marissa Guimbarda
Alpharetta 34, North Forsyth 14
North Forsyth 0 0 7 7_14
Alpharetta 6 14 0 14_34
A: Marbaugh 11 pass from King, (kick blocked), 2:35
A: Ruter 61 pass from King (kick good), 10:38
A: Marbaugh 33 pass from King (kick good), 0:47
NF: Davenport 4 run (kick good), 0:12
A: Cobbs 14 run (kick good), 7:07
A: Adam 37 run (kick good), 2:40
NF: Salerno 20 pass from Bailey (kick good), 0:13
ALPHARETTA – Friday night’s matchup between the North Forsyth Raiders and the Alpharetta Raiders was a match of two very different offenses.
North’s ground game proved to not be enough as Alpharetta shredded North through the air on its way to a 34-14 win at home to end the regular season.
North’s smash mouth approach had success on the opening drive, as the team pushed down the field behind senior Jamal Davenport (73 yards, TD). The drive came to a halt as the team was stopped inches short on fourth down as they approached the red zone.
That’s when N.C. State commit Austin King and the Alpharetta offense took over, and they didn’t look back.
King connected with his receivers on three different instances in the first half for touchdowns, including a 61-yard strike in the second quarter to senior Rustin Suter. King led Alpharetta (9-1, 9-0 in Region 6-AAAAAA) to a 20-0 lead at halftime.
Despite the deficit, North (1-9, 1-8) didn’t go out without a fight. To begin the second half, it successfully executed an onside kick recovered by junior Jordan Palms. North ran the clock down the entire quarter again behind Davenport and senior Jesus Torres. By running the ball and the clock, Alpharetta’s lethal offense remained on the sideline. North sealed the drive with a touchdown on a 4-yard run by Davenport with 12 seconds remaining in the quarter.
After controlling the clock in the third quarter, North was able to slow down the passing game in the fourth quarter. They kept King out of the end zone in the second half. However, the Alpharetta ground game came to life. Senior Lem Cobbs broke off a 14-yard run to score with 7:07 remaining, followed by a 37-yard run by sophomore Cam Adams with 2:40 remaining to put Alpharetta up 34-7.
North showed its resiliency at the end of the game. Junior quarterback Jacob Bailey completed his second pass of the night, a 20-yard completion to junior Justin Salerno in the end zone with 13 seconds left on the clock to make the score 34-14.
North didn’t have the season it hoped for, but it saw signs of hope with its returning talent next season. Sophomore fullback Chris Cutter averaged over four yards a carry on the night against the stingy Alpharetta defense. Junior Lance McGonigle displayed his receiving ability with a 39-yard reception.
The Raiders from Coal Mountain will look to their upcoming seniors to lead the team to a better season in 2015.
Alpharetta advanced to the playoffs where it will play Region 5-AAAAAA opponent Cherokee in the first round next Friday.