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Football: Chemistry between Delp, Stover paying off for West Forsyth
Return from injury latest chapter in West QB's sophomore season
Keegan Stover
West Forsyth quarterback Keegan Stover is 37 of 70 for 486 yards and seven touchdowns with one interception this season. - photo by David Roberts

Keegan Stover came to West Forsyth to play in big-time games.

Friday night was a big-time game. 

The Wolverines outlasted South Forsyth in overtime, 41-34, knocking the War Eagles from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Seven weeks prior, Stover was making his first varsity start with the eyes of the state upon him.

Stover, who played last season at Dawson County, hardly flinched despite the pressure, throwing four touchdowns and completing 12 of 19 passes for 156 yards as West blew out Mays 42-6 in the Corky Kell Classic.

"I wanted to play in those big games like we did at the beginning of the season," Stover said. "Play with playmakers, get my name out there and just show that I can play at a high level."

West's win against South also marked Stover's first game back from injury.

Perhaps too eager, Stover slammed into a Walton defender during a third-down run, picking up the first down but also separating his shoulder.

"I made a couple guys miss, then I saw a corner and tried to lower my shoulder on him," Stover said. "I should've got down, but I'll learn from that."

Stover missed the rest of the game, but backup QB Ashton Van Horn filled in admirably, completing seven passes for 114 yards and a touchdown while leading West to the victory.

"Every play call, I watched and looked at what I would do with the read and just helped Ashton along to make plays and win the game," Stover said.

- photo by David Roberts

West fell on the road against Mill Creek after a last-minute punt return for a touchdown, then dropped a 24-10 region game to North Forsyth before beating South. 

Stover completed 9 of 17 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns — all nine passes going to tight end Oscar Delp.

Delp began working on the chemistry with his first-year quarterback long before the season started.

The two estimate they threw three to four days a week this summer.

"With the whole corona thing happening, it kind of helped us because we met up a bunch during it," Delp said. "Not having school, we threw a ton and and built that chemistry, and it carried through to the season. I mean, the stats don't lie between me and him this year."

Indeed, Delp leads the team with 16 catches for 533 yards and seven touchdowns, eclipsing all of his sophomore totals. 

Delp's 47-yard, two-touchdown performance against Mays was enough to trigger an offer from the University of Michigan, admittedly a school Delp always hoped would offer. 

"Obviously, first offer is insane, but for it to be Michigan, which was one of my dream schools growing up, just thinking about the University of Michigan and getting that phone call and talking to Coach Moore and Coach Harbaugh is just absolutely mind-blowing," Delp said. "For me to have a chance to go play at that school and be one of the guys that they want still just gives me butterflies to think about."

It was also enough to convince some of Delp's classmates that the Wolverines truly are contenders.

"Going into it, we weren't scared, but we were nervous. Our whole school doubted us," Delp said of the Mays game. "Our classes, classmates, everyone was saying, 'Oh, y'all are going to get killed tonight.' We went out there, scored on every drive and kind of left everyone with their jaws on ground."

A breakout junior year has Delp in constant contact with Division I coaching staffs. 

He had a Zoom call with Stanford Tuesday night, another with Georgia the next day, and this weekend he's heading to Auburn to check out the campus. 

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh frequently sends him edits and texts him, 'Go Blue!'

Oscar Delp
Oscar Delp has attracted attention from some of the top programs in the country. Photo by Jay Rooney Photography

Delp has racked up 18 offers since the start of the season, most recently from Ole Miss. He's a four-star prospect and the No. 13 tight end in the country, according to 247sports.

"I'm kind of just put wherever it fits best for the gameplan," Delp said. "You put me on a short corner, I'm going to catch the ball and score. You put me on a slow linebacker, I'm going to catch the ball and score. Just pretty much line me up wherever I have a mismatch and use me to my capabilities and be as versatile as possible."

Running back Daba Fofana has also surpassed last year's totals under first-year head coach Dave Svehla, needing only six games to reach 708 yards and eight touchdowns.

Fofana, a Navy commit, has reached 100 yards rushing in all but one game this season, when he rushed for 94 yards against Mill Creek. 

"He's definitely a big part of our game right now," Delp said. "If we need a couple of yards, we give him the ball and he's getting it every time. It's awesome to have that one-two punch with him where he can receive passes and he can run the ball whenever we need him to."

West's offensive line of John Leonard, Dylan Fairchild, Turner Bell, Alex Steele and Max Freeman has given Fofana space to work this season. 

"We have a very good O-line," Stover said. "They protect me really well and they run block really well. That play against South, where we scored in overtime, holy crap. They're really good."

West has had to overcome injuries on defense, too, most notably with leading tackler Dalton Tjong injuring his hand against Mill Creek. 

Tjong has two of West's eight interceptions this season, tied with sophomore Greyson Brockman for the team lead.

Delp has also filled in on defense, making five tackles against South and breaking up a pair of passes.

"We're taking this year seriously," Delp said. "It sucked to lose (Stover) for a couple games, but he's back now, and I think this is our time to go on that roll."

Keegan Stover
Stover returned Friday against South Forsyth, passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the win. - photo by David Roberts