A stunner in Raider Valley and another close loss for Forsyth Central: Here’s what we learned after Week 11 of the county football season.
1. Region 5-7A is going to come down to the wire
Just when we thought the region’s final standings were coming into form, we were thrown a last-minute curveball in the form of West’s thrilling win over North Forsyth on Friday night. It was the Raiders’ first region loss of the season, and they’re now tied with West at 3-1, right behind 4-0 Milton who beat Lambert handily on Friday.
But while this year’s playoff teams are set, seeding is still very much up in the air. North and Milton play in the region finale, while West will face South. If North and West both win, the top three teams in the region will be tied at 4-1, and a tiebreaker will be necessary to determine seeding. One thing is for certain, though: South Forsyth will make the playoffs for the sixth straight season after beating Forsyth Central.
2. West’s late season surge continues
Speaking of West, just like last year, the Wolverines’ early season schedule seems to have paid off. After starting 2019 with a 1-4 record with some losses that weren’t really close, West has rattled off three straight wins.
On Friday night against North, it may have been the mental fortitude developed over that rough early season stretch that paid dividends. The Wolverines were down 21-0 after a dreadful first quarter with two turnovers. West buckled down defensively, though, and with less than two minutes left to play, a long 56-yard pass to Oscar Delp from Drew Southern set up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Casey Cowart that completed a 22-21 comeback win. If they can beat South this week, the Wolverines can clinch their second straight home playoff game.
3. Central can’t catch a break
Central’s hot start to 2019 seems like ages ago.
The Bulldogs have lost four consecutive games, falling to 3-5 overall and 0-4 in Region 5-7A with their Friday night 21-14 loss to South Forsyth. Central had a lead at one point in that game and played relatively well (especially defensively), but it was ultimately just another example of how close Central has come to winning in the last few weeks. With the exception of its tilt with Milton, Central has lost all of its region games by one score – in the case of its region opener against North, one point in double overtime.
Despite all that, though, the Bulldogs seem to have a great chance to grab a victory to end their season against a winless Lambert squad on Friday.
Jake Bretz, WR/DB, (Forsyth Central): 1 carry, 6 yards; 15 tackles, 1 interception
Eli Ruis, RB, (Forsyth Central): 15 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD
Devin McGlockton, WR/LB, (South Forsyth): 14 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hurry
Keegan Toner, LB, (South Forsyth): 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1/2 sack
Casey Cowart, WR, (West Forsyth): 4 catches, 81 yards, 2 TD
Dalton Tjong, DB, (West Forsyth): 17 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass break-up
Hudson Posey, LB, (West Forsyth): 15 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 QB hurry, 1 pass break-up
Carson Brown, LB, (North Forsyth): 10 tackles, 1 fumble recovery
Jack Tucker, LB, (North Forsyth): 8 tackles, 2 TFL
Kojo Antwi, WR, (Lambert): 8 catches, 64 yards
Bryce Balthaser, QB, (Pinecrest): 13-of-25 passing for 191
yards, 2 TD
Ethan Massey, WR, (Pinecrest): 3 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD