Alpharetta 24, South Forsyth 14
South Forsyth 2 6 0 6_14
Alpharetta 7 10 0 7_24
SF: Safety, 11:15
A: Suter 82 pass from King (kick good), 3:00
SF: LaFlamme 8 run (pass failed), 9:29
A: FG Marbaugh 34, 5:57
A: Suter 13 pass from King (kick good), 0:45
A: Moore 55 interception return (kick good), 6:25
SF: Camp 8 pass from White (pass failed), 1:20
ALPHARETTA – Friday night featured a clash between the top two teams in Region 6-AAAAAA as second-place South Forsyth went on the road to take on region-leading Alpharetta. Despite jumping out to a lightning-quick lead, the War Eagles faded down the stretch and came up short in the pivotal contest, 24-14.
"A lot of things went against us tonight," South coach Jeff Arnette said. "A lot of calls didn’t go our way and we had a few costly turnovers, but our boys never quit fighting tonight and I’m very proud of their effort."
South (5-3, 5-2) took the fight to its region opponent in the opening stages of the game, jumping ahead 2-0 after the Raider long-snapper overshot his punter and launched the ball through the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety only 45 seconds into contest. Later in the first quarter, the War Eagles had a chance to extend their lead with a 26-yard Alex Barbir field goal attempt, but were turned away after the kick was blocked.
Alpharetta (7-1, 7-0) promptly kick-started its prolific offense and began attacking South through the air, gashing the War Eagles for big chunks of yardage. The biggest of these plays came with 3:00 remaining in the first when Alpharetta quarterback Austin King connected with receiver Rustin Suter for an 82-yard touchdown strike down the right sideline, giving the Raiders the lead, 7-2.
"We just have to go out there and play," South receiver Curtis Roach said. "Honestly, we just need to keep up the work on defense and find a way to score some more points, but we played well against a great team tonight."
South’s best offensive weapon, running back Tyler Laflamme, was held in check for the majority of the evening (20 carries, 60 yards, TD). Laflamme capped off a 10-play drive early in the second quarter with a punishing 8-yard touchdown run that recaptured the lead for South, making the score 8-7 after a failed two point conversion.
The rest of the second quarter belonged to Alpharetta. After reclaiming the lead on a 34-yard field goal, the Raiders forced South to punt with 2:28 left in the quarter. Alpharetta drove the ball 66 yards, eventually cashing in on another King-to-Suter connection of 13 yards for a 17-8 advantage at halftime.
As the game neared its conclusion, the Raider defense caused havoc on two consecutive War Eagle possessions and put the game out of reach for South. With 9:07 remaining in the final quarter and facing fourth down, South quarterback Matthew White misfired on a short pass, leading to an interception that was returned 55 yards for a Raider touchdown and a 24-8 lead. South’s next possession suffered a similar fate as a wayward screen pass was intercepted at the line of scrimmage, damaging any comeback hopes for South.
"Both our kids and our coaches gave a lot out their tonight," Arnette said. "We have a great team that’s going to go back to work, and a game like this isn’t going to affect our preparation. If we keep working like this, things are going to come around for us."