"A dangerous football player."
That’s how Forsyth Central coach Chris Bennett described Jantzen Jeffrey, after the senior quarterback led South Forsyth to a 41-14 win against the Bulldogs Friday night at War Eagle Field.
Jeffrey created plenty of danger for Central’s defense in a short amount of time, throwing four touchdowns — three to receiver Jordan Arnett — and running for another before he and the rest of South’s starters exited the game midway through the third period with a 41-0 lead.
Jeffrey finished 7 of 10 for 157 passing yards and added 17 yards on the ground.
"When I’m confident in the line and they’re playing the way they are, things just slow down for me," Jeffrey said.
"I had a lot of time tonight to see back there and see the field and see the receivers. I credit that to the line and working all week and Jordan making plays."
South (2-0) put up almost 10 times as many yards as Central before halftime, as Jeffrey threw for 142 of the War Eagles’ 207 first-half yards while Central was held to just 21 — all on the ground.
Central’s offense struggled from the outset and gave South its first points of the night.
The Bulldogs (0-2) started their first drive on their own 23 but quickly found themselves facing fourth-and-22 from the 11. The snap attempt to punter Michael Branigan sailed out the back of the end zone for a safety on the next play, giving South a 2-0 lead with 7:22 to play.
The War Eagles returned the ensuing free kick to the South 36-yard line before Jeffrey marched the offense 64 yards on 11 plays, capping the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Kicker Brandon McKee added the extra point to give the War Eagles a 9-0 lead with 2:41 remaining in the opening quarter.
"Jantzen is just playing out of his mind right now," South coach Jeff Arnette said.
"He’s just running the team, running the ball well and throwing ... the ball on the money. It’s starting with him, and I think our offensive line is doing a great job to give him the time to do the things he’s doing."
The War Eagles found themselves in third-and-seven from their own 14 yard line on their next series, but the poor field position was erased in one play as Jeffrey ran right, turned back left and hit running back Isaiah Williams (11 carries, 58 rushing yards; 2 receptions, 102 receiving yards, TD) on a screen pass that went for an 86-yard touchdown.
"Isaiah Williams ran the ball great tonight," Arnette said. "He looked great on several runs and on the middle screen. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon there."
South started its next two drives in Central territory and capitalized on both.
Jeffrey hit Arnett (3 receptions, 28 yards receiving, 3 TD) with an 11-yard touchdown pass with 2:23 remaining in the second quarter and — after the War Eagles recovered a Central fumble at the Bulldogs’ 38 — found him again on a three-yard strike with 10.7 seconds on the clock.
Jeffrey ran in a two-point conversion on the first scoring pass to Arnett, and McKee followed the second with an extra point that boosted South’s lead to 31-0.
"Their quarterback is the real deal," Bennett said, "and their offensive and defensive lines dominated us.
"When that happens, you’re going to have a hard time doing anything."
Central went three-and-out on its opening drive of the second half and South took over at the Bulldogs’ 44.
Jeffrey capped off a nine-play scoring drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Arnett in the right corner of the end zone, putting South ahead 38-0 with 5:00 remaining in the third quarter. That ended the day for most of South’s starters.
"It all goes back to the offseason," said Arnett (no relation to South coach Jeff Arnette).
"We spent Saturdays running I don’t know how many routes, and then in practice with coach [John] Garrish teaching us how to run the routes correctly."
South tacked on a 45-yard field goal by McKee later in the quarter and took a 41-0 lead into the fourth period.
Central got its first points of the night in the fourth quarter primarily behind the legs of Branigan, who broke off runs of 14, 17 and 18 yards during one drive, before Nathan Alvarado capped it off with a 12-yard touchdown run at the 7:55 mark.
Shay Hollis got Central in the end zone for a second time on a 35-yard scoring run with 3:40 remaining.
The War Eagles finished with 279 yards of offense while Central tallied 156.
South has now won its last eight meetings with Central. The Bulldogs last defeated the War Eagles on Oct. 13, 2000.
South travels to Cambridge on Friday to face the Bears, while Central returns home to face Dawson County.