With the regional schedule lurking right around the corner, South Forsyth continued their early-season momentum, fending off the visiting Cambridge Bears 38-28 on Friday.
South (3-0, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA) seized control of the game early and never trailed at any point. The War Eagles jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead and, despite some flashes of offense from Cambridge, constantly kept their opponents in check.
South quarterback Matthew White showcased a sparkling performance, completing 14-of-22 passes for 223 yards, three touchdowns and a lone interception. His composure and decision-making helped propel the War Eagle attack while keeping the Cambridge offense stuck on the sidelines.
"Throughout the week, we emphasized on starting fast and trying to get out to an early lead and staying there," White said. "That was the most important thing coming into this game, getting a lead and setting the tone."
South boasted an impressive number of contributors offensively with seven different players coming down with a reception. Sophomore Cameron Kline had a 17- yard touchdown catch on a well-thrown fade route from White.
Isaiah Williams delivered another game of hard-nosed rushing, gaining 54 yards on 16 carries. He also showed his ability to make plays out of the backfield, taking a short check-down pass 55 yards for a touchdown.
"None of us are real happy about the way we played," South coach Jeff Arnette said. "But every victory is a great victory. We didn’t do a whole lot of things well tonight, but we got the win and that’s really all that counts."
During the first possession of the game, Cambridge quarterback Bryan Moore was forced to scramble back toward his own end zone. Amidst a swarm of South defenders, Moore fumbled the football right in front of his own goal line. As the scramble for the football ensued deep inside the Cambridge end zone, Kline dove on top of the loose ball for a touchdown.
The Cambridge offense appeared completely inept at some points during the game, especially in the first and third quarters. The Bears initial first down came at the 8:25 mark in the second quarter, a fitting representation of their offensive inefficiencies. Although the Cambridge offense forged some quality scoring drives later in the game, the lack of early offense would eventually doom the Bears.
South’s lead would balloon to 23 point by the third quarter, but the anemic Cambridge offense would finally put the pieces together and take one last stab at victory. In the fourth quarter, the Bears blocked a South punt that set up Cambridge’s JD White to score a short rushing touchdown, bringing the score to 38-22.
After South missed a 32 yard field goal, Cambridge stormed down the field once again and JD White capped off another successful Bears drive with a three yard rushing touchdown with 1:30 left in the game. Cambridge could have narrowed the deficit to a mere one possession, but they failed the two-point conversion attempt, leaving South to run out the clock and secure the win.
After three weeks of non-region success, South looks forward to its biggest game of the young season as they get set to host Lambert (1-2, 0-0 Region 6-AAAAAA) for the region opener.
"It’s huge, it’s our first region game and, on top of that, it’s against Lambert," Arnette said. "There’s no need to hide it, it’s a big game for both schools.
Right now, everyone is 0-0 and getting ready to play these region games … if you start off 0-1, you’re behind the eight-ball right off the bat. I don’t’ think I’ll have to tell (the team) anything at all to help get their minds right for Lambert."