MILTON — South Forsyth accomplished something Friday night that it had not done in almost a decade.
The War Eagles defeated first-year program Cambridge 45-16 at the Bears field, pushing their record to 3-0 for the first time since 2003. For South coach Jeff Arnette, the win marked completion of a goal for this season.
"We accomplished something special tonight," Arnette said.
"It has been 9 or 10 years since South has been 3-0 to enter a year, and that was something we really wanted to do. It was one of our goals, so it is great to be there."
"We just really wanted to do this as a program, and it is really something we can be proud of and build on for the future."
The War Eagles (3-0) jumped out to a 21-0 lead on the Bears (1-2), starting with an eight play, 56-yard scoring drive on their first possession of the game. The series was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Brett Larkin with 7:21 in the first quarter.
South’s defense then stopped Cambridge on a fourth-and-inches at the Bears’ 29-yard line to set up a second score of the quarter. This time War Eagles’ quarterback Jantzen Jeffrey (67 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD) ran it in from a yard out with 3:46 to play in the opening frame and double the lead to 14-0.
The second quarter proved to be somewhat sloppy for the War Eagles, and they managed just one score. South recovered a Cambridge fumble at the Bears’ 41-yard line, which led to a four-play drive which Jeffrey capped with a 17-yard scoring run. Jeffrey’s second rushing touchdown put South up 21-0 with 6:23 to go in the half. Cambridge added a late 25-yard field goal from Hawk Hammer following a South fumble that made it 21-3 South at the half.
The War Eagles didn’t let up in the second half, scoring on their first two drives to take a commanding 35-3 lead.
South went 66 yards in just six plays on the opening possesion of the second half, with Isaiah Williams (119 yards rushing, TD) taking it in from three yards out with 9:07 left in the third.
The War Eagles then went 86 yards in seven plays on their next possession, pushing the lead to 35-3 with 4:28 to go in the quarter on an eight-yard run by Jeffrey — his third rushing score of the game.
"We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to sometimes, but in the third quarter we really played well and got something we can build on for next week," Arnette said.
South extended the lead to 38-3 on a 42-yard field goal from Brandon McKee in the fourth quarter.
Cambridge then got its first-ever touchdown at home on on a J.D. White (62 yards rushing, TD) 37-yard run to cut the lead to 38-10.
South answered with a big 61-yard kickoff return by Austin Ataide that put the War Eagles at the Bears’ 24-yard line. Five plays later, Dylan Chatelain (35 yards rushing, TD) scored the team’s final points on a 10-yard run.
The win was a relief for Arnette, who was afraid that the War Eagles might be looking ahead to Friday’s Region 6-AAAAAA opener against rival Lambert.
"It was a tough spot for us," Arnette said.
"We played so well the first two weeks, and as a coach you worry with this game being against a new school and us having such a big game next week. Our kids played hard, and we feel pretty good."
The War Eagles travel to Lambert to face the Longhorns on Friday. Lambert has won the first two meetings between the two schools.