Another week in the books. Here are some stray observations from Week 2 of high school football in Forsyth County.
North Forsyth’s defense is the real deal
The Raiders couldn’t ask their defense to do much more Friday night.
North’s offense struggled to find much consistency against Harrison, twice turning the ball over and averaging just over four yards per play.
Give credit to the Hoyas, though. Sure, it’s a different team than last year’s squad, but Harrison did outscore its opponents 182-65 during last season’s playoff run.
With its offense in a funk, North’s defense rose to the challenge, sacking Harrison quarterback Tripp Richardson six times and holding the Hoyas’ offense to one score all night.
Senior Austin Colon recovered a fumble and had a pivotal block on an extra point in the third quarter, which was ultimately the difference in a one-point game.
Senior Peyton Wagner forced a pair of turnovers, including an interception with 3:30 left in the game, which allowed North to chew some clock before giving the ball back to Harrison with 1:26 remaining.
After a long completion and three desperation laterals, Colon, Wagner, Bentley Wheeler and Jumel Lewis wrestled Akhnaton Shabazz to the ground as time expired and gave the Raiders a 10-9 win.
West Forsyth can hang with the best
As a matter of fact, the Wolverines nearly did more than that Friday night against Cartersville.
West fell 28-17 to Cartersville, a game that stretched the Purple Hurricane’s record-breaking winning streak to 60 straight regular-season games.
But West went toe-to-toe with Class 5A giant Cartersville, trading blows through much of the first half. After wide receiver Devonte Ross capped Cartersville’s opening drive with an 11-yard TD, West marched down the field and tied the game with a 2-yard TD run by Daba Fofana.
Then, after a 41-yard score, the Wolverines answered with a 10-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Keegan Stover to junior wide receiver Ashton van Horn. On the next drive, senior kicker Alex Wilson drilled a 50-yard field goal to momentarily give West a 17-14 lead. Cartersville retaliated before halftime, then added another touchdown in the third quarter before both teams played a scoreless fourth quarter.
Fofana hit the century mark for the second straight week, tallying 134 yards and a score on 21 carries, also averaging 41 yards per punt and twice pinning Cartersville inside its own 20-yard line.
A dominant 42-6 win against Mays, coupled with an impressive showing on the road against Cartersville, and expectations appear to be sky high at West.
Lambert’s 2-0 start is the best since 2012
The Longhorns are outscoring their opponents 68-28 through two games this season, most recently beating Lassiter 34-19 in a win that gives Lambert its best start since 2012.
Of course, Campbell went 0-10 last year, and Lassiter won only one game, but it’s a step in the right direction for first-year coach Tommy Watson and the Longhorns.
“We’ve just got to keep changing the culture,” Watson said after the game. “It’s what we said we were going to do back in June, and hopefully by the next few weeks we can start cutting out some of the missed blocks, the missed passes and the penalties — it’s coming. Slowly but surely, man. It’s a process.”
Lambert was stout on defense once again, holding Lassiter to 38 rushing yards on 33 carries.
On offense, quarterback Ashton Smith (12 for 24, 248 yards, 2 TDs) averaged a staggering 20.6 yards per completion, helped in large part by Kojo Antwi’s 89-yard haul in the third quarter.
Lambert gets Meadowcreek and Duluth these next two weeks, then a region opener against South Forsyth will test how far the Longhorns have come since last year.
Are you ready for some football?
For the first time all season, all but one of Forsyth’s Region 6-7A teams will be in action this week.
Denmark is scheduled to kick things off on Thursday, barring any COVID-19 complications or inclement weather – Hurricane Sally is forecast to veer right after making landfall, then reach north Georgia by Thursday.
If everything goes according to plan, the Danes will host Shiloh at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, while Forsyth Central, Lambert, North Forsyth and South Forsyth will play Friday.
Let’s all hope for dry weather.
Ashton Smith, Lambert (Jr.): 12 for 24, 248 yards, 2 TDs
Kojo Antwi, Lambert (Jr.): 5 receptions, 140 yards, 1 TD
Tucker Hartsfield, North Forsyth (Sr.): 7 catches, 142 yards
Patrick Corrigan, North Forsyth (Jr.): 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hurry, 1 pass deflection, 1 fumble recovery; 2 carries, 6 yards, 1 TD
Dylan Lurie, North Forsyth (Sr.): 3 tackles, 2 ½ tackles for loss, 1 sack
Peyton Wagner, North Forsyth (Sr.): 3 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble
Daba Fofana, West Forsyth (Sr.): 21 carries, 134 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 9 yards; 6 punts, 246 yards (41 average), 2 inside 20-yard line
Hudson Posey, West Forsyth (Sr.): 11 tackles, 4 QB hurries, 2 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery; ½ tackle for loss
Dalton Tjong, West Forsyth (Sr.): 12 tackles, 110 return yards