South Forsyth held a pair of 10-point leads in its matchup with Harrison Friday in Kennesaw. The first one disappeared in part due to a rash of penalties, but the second held up.
The War Eagles scored the game's first 10 points and looked as though they could be on their way to matching last week's season-opening win — a dominant 28-0 victory over Lanier — only to see the Hoyas rally for a 14-10 halftime lead.
However, South Forsyth dusted itself off, cleaned up some of the penalties and went on a 14-0 run of its own to regain a 10-point advantage. Although Harrison battled back to make things interesting late, South Forsyth managed to hold off the hosts for a 24-21 win.
"I was really proud of our team," War Eagles head coach Troy Morris said. "We jumped out on them and then went down. ... Our kids took the coaching, cleaned it up and kept fighting. Our kids know that winning ain't easy. It's tough. They're not all going to be 28-0 type of things. They are going to be dogfights. Sometimes, we're going to have to come from behind. Every game is a little bit different.
"Our kids kept fighting and kept believing. They never got down, kept their good body language and found a way to get it done in a tough environment in their place on the road. It was their homecoming, so they played with a ton of emotion."
Early in the fourth quarter, South Forsyth (2-0) went ahead on a quarterback keeper by Ty Watkins. Running back Maverick Schippman extended the lead with a touchdown run of his own midway through the final stanza.
Overall, the second half saw the War Eagles lean more heavily on their rushing attack than has been typical since Morris took over as head coach.
"Our offense can be what it needs to be," Morris said. "Tonight, we ended up finding something there [running the ball]. They got a little bit tired, and we leaned on them."
The return of Nathan Efobi, who missed the Lanier game due to injury, certainly made running the ball easier. The two-way lineman's presence alone helped provide a lift.
"It gives everybody a boost to see him out there," Morris said. "I think he did a good job tonight. ...
"I think the guys we have out there are doing great. The more guys we get back that just makes us even tougher."
With the first of four straight road games out of the way, South Forsyth will turn its attention to North Oconee. Then again, Morris mentioned that this next week could include plenty of attempted self-improvement during practice.
"I think our focus needs to be more on us," he said. "We have some things we need to clean up. We have to play a lot cleaner moving forward. That has got to get fixed."