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Balancing act works for West
Wolverines roll to 42-13 victory at Johns Creek
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West Forsyth running back Cole Staton tries to elude a Johns Creek defender. - photo by Kevin O'Brien

JOHNS CREEK — When Johns Creek opened its home game against West Forsyth on Friday with an impressive touchdown drive, the potential for an upset became a distinct possibility. But that small glimmer of hope quickly faded as the Wolverines scored six unanswered touchdowns and cruised to a 42-13 victory.

West (4-2, 2-1 Region 6-AAAAAA) unleashed an offensive attack that was balanced almost perfectly between passing and rushing. Junior quarterback Hampton McConnell completed 13-of-20 passes for 210 yard, scoring a touchdown through the air and another on the ground. The Wolverines also racked up over 200 yards of rushing offense, pounding away at the Gladiators’ defense all evening long.

"[Johns Creek] has a lot of pride and they’re well coached, so give them credit," West coach Frank Hepler said. "As far as we’re concerned, we have a long way to go. We’re still working on things; inexperienced guys are trying to step up for us. We’re getting better, but we still have a long way to go."

West running back Trevor O’Brien jumpstarted his team in the first quarter, as he juked one man at the line of scrimmage and sprinted down the left sideline for a thrilling 48-yard touchdown, tying the game 7-7.

After a Johns Creek punt pinned West inside of its own 1, the Wolverines drove the length of the field and punched in a second rushing touchdown for O’Brien to double the lead 14-7. Only a few minutes later, West closed the second quarter with another successful drive as McConnell powered his way into the end zone on a sneak play to finish the half 21-7.

Johns Creek had no answer offensively for the resilient West defense. The Gladiators, feeling the game slipping away, switched to a wildcat offense in the second quarter, moving Chase Solomon to the quarterback position. While his rushing effort was impressive (27 carries, 128 yards, one touchdown), his passing ability severely lacked quality (4-of-14 passes, 32 yards, two interceptions).

Dominant throughout, West outclassed Johns Creek in nearly every aspect the game. However, the road only gets harder for the Wolverines as region play rolls on.

"We got some real tough region games coming up," Hepler said. "We’ll go back and look at the film to see where we made mistakes and what we did well. We’ll know even more about tonight once we watch the film."