West Forsyth coach Frank Hepler could not have asked much more of his players on Friday — not after the Wolverines reached the end zone every time they had the ball.
The No. 8-ranked Wolverines scored touchdowns on all nine of their offensive possessions, including seven in the first half of a 63-14 victory against Starr’s Mill at The Den.
West (3-0) didn’t surrender a point until until the 3:03 mark in the third quarter, when the Panthers (1-2) found the end zone against reserve defenders. The Wolverines led 56-0 up to that point.
"[Our execution tonight is] what you dream of," Hepler said. "I’m really proud of those guys performing throughout the game and scoring each possession is pretty cool."
Wolverines quarterback A.J. Erdley had only two incompletions for the entire night, going 13 of 15 passing for 196 yards and four touchdowns, including two scores to tight end Ty Anderson (4 receptions, 83 yards).
West Forsyth running backs Gabe Pierce (5 rushes, 54 yards), Trever O’Brien (3 rushes, 62 yards), Brian Porter (4 rushes, 35 yards), Stephen Gallagher (3 rushes, 39 yards), and Matt Lyon (3 rushes, 23 yards) all had one touchdown apiece.
"Our kids didn’t really know much about Starr’s Mill," Hepler said.
"It could have been easy to come out and kind of maybe take them lightly or something like that, but the kids came out, had a great week of practice and they brought that practice on the field and didn’t let who our opponent was interfere. We did a great job of running the ball, throwing the ball, and played great defense."
The Wolverines’ most "difficult" drive in the opening half was its first, which started on their own 22-yard line. Three plays into the series, O’Brien broke off an 18-yard run then, and Pierce followed with a 28-yard gain on the next play. On the following snap, Erdley found Anderson for a 19-yard touchdown completion.
The Wolverine’s next six touchdown scoring drives were 46 yards, 51 yards, 63 yards, 60 yards, 37 yards and 44 yards, respectively, with none needing more than six plays to score.
While the Wolverines’ offense couldn’t be stopped, the Panthers’ offense could never get out of park in the first half. Starr’s Mill got only one first down and never crossed midfield.
Panthers quarterback Kyle Moseley (6 of 14, 71 passing yards) was sacked twice and neither Dion Munerlyn (14 rushes, 38 yards, 2 TD) nor Gerren Smith, Jr. (18 rushes, 84 yards) could get much going on the ground.
"We worked hard on their run game and we worked hard on pressuring their quarterback when he passed," said Hepler. "That proved to be the difference."
Alef Chaul and Conner Vandenbos each had a sack while the trio of Hunter Belu, Will Brown and Mohamed Camara rounded out the Wolverines’ defense with big tackles and pass break-ups.
"The defense is starting to come together," Hepler said. "That’s the group that gets the most criticism throughout the region [with people saying] that we don’t have a good defense.
"You know, those kids are working hard. We’re not where we want to be, we’re not a good defense yet, but we’re getting there."
West opens the Region 6-AAAAAA schedule this Friday on the road against Alpharetta. The Raiders handed the Wolverines their only loss during the 2011 regular season in a game that ultimately decided the Region 6-AAAAA championship.
"They’re a great team," Hepler said of Alpharetta.
"We’re still working toward our region games. We got a lot of tough ones still to go."