Cameron Brock might have the best hands on South Forsyth's girls flag football team.
On Thursday, however, South head coach Kassie Smith needed Brock's hands to deliver the football rather than receive it. Fall sports are in full swing, which means starting quarterback Ashley Chu is in the thick of softball season.
So, Brock operated as South's signal-caller.
But early in the second half of South's game against Sequoyah, Brock managed to put her receiving skills to work on defense when she jumped the route and picked off Mary Hobbs' pass and ran it all the way back for a touchdown.
It tied the game 6-6 and forced overtime before Sequoyah scored the game-winning touchdown in its first possession of extra time.
"Today's the first time she's ever played quarterback," Smith said. "You know, we don't have Ashley yet coming from softball, so she's been QB1. She's really been owning that name and that title, just coming out and working hard every day."
Sequoyah running back Mya McRae gashed the War Eagles in the first half, including a 25-yard run that set up a short 1-yard TD dive. Brock broke up the two-point try to keep it a 6-0 lead.
South managed to keep McRae in check after halftime. Kate Dominick tackled McRae for a loss on back-to-back plays during one second-half possession, and on fourth down, Delaney Pate picked off a Hobbs pass to end the drive.
After South turned the ball over on downs, Dominick shined again on defense, making another stop in the backfield to turn third-and-1 into fourth-and-5.
"I told her on that last one on third down right around midfield at the 40, I looked at her and said, 'Kate, give me one. I need one.' She looked at me, turned around and got it in the backfield, so I was pretty proud of her," Smith said. "Her and Elianna [Vallianatos], last year they just owned their job as rushers. They dive and they pull, and that is just as exciting as a touchdown."
Sequoyah decided to punt, then Brock hit two straight completions to Pate and Caroline Harrington to get the War Eagles to the Chiefs' 30-yard line, but time ran out and South couldn't capitalize on the momentum.
"I told the girls they blew us away today. We were very surprised," Smith said. "We graduated some girls and don't have some girls, and we didn't really know what we were going to see when we got out here. We're very optimistic about what we saw."
Brock played football for Lakeside Middle School as a seventh-grader in 2019. Harrington also played football when she was younger and tried out for the boys team at South.
"We do have two girls that have obviously had some more genuine football experience, so it's cool to have them join the flag football team," Smith said.
Forsyth Central and Denmark were also in action Thursday at Denmark High School.
The Bulldogs started the season 1-0 with a 14-0 win over Etowah.
Holland Moon got Central on the board with a rushing touchdown, then Marlee McAdam scored on the ground in the second half to grow the lead. McAdam completed the two-point play with a successful pass to Alana Efferson that made the score 14-0 with just a couple of minutes left in the game.
Central and South each reached the Class 7A-6A Elite Eight last year in girls flag football's inaugural season.
Denmark fell behind early in a 28-12 loss to Cherokee, but the Danes staged a second-half fight and scored 12 unanswered points after halftime.
Denmark's comeback began with an interception by Carinne Tzurdecker, which the Danes turned into a 15-yard TD run by Aubrey Chester. Denmark quarterback Samantha Pixley navigated another scoring drive minutes later, ending with another TD run by Chester, this time from 5 yards out.
Chester hauled in a deep pass from Pixley during the drive, while Ally Hayes caught a first-down pass and Carrie Ulmer broke off a long run to sustain the drive.