DACULA – The last time West Forsyth and Dacula met was in the first round of the state playoffs in 2013. West suffered a heartbreaking 36-31 loss in that contest, but this game was a different story.
The Wolverines scored 31 points again, but this time they held Dacula to just 14 points on their way to a comfortable win in Dacula on Friday night.
“Coming into this week we just practiced hard,” West quarterback Kiernen Hamilton said. “We knew we had a tough opponent, but we just came into it with a mindset that we were going to win.”
West (3-1) did not get off to the best start offensively. Each of its first two drives ended in interceptions that gave Dacula the ball on their side of the field.
The Wolverines’ defense was able to stand strong the first time, but after the second pick, the Falcons turned it into a 32-yard touchdown pass from Shane Buckingham to Kenny Severe, putting Dacula up 6-0.
But the Wolverines rebounded quickly. After a Bryce Jones field goal made it 6-3 midway through the first quarter, West put together an 11-play, 56-yard drive that was capped off with a 7-yard touchdown run by Grant Torgerson.
Four plays later, Torgerson made another play when he intercepted Buckingham at the Wolverines’ 49-yard line, shifting all of the momentum to the West sideline.
West turned the turnover into points with an eight-play drive that ended with Hamilton finding Ben Bresnahan from 7 yards out, putting the Wolverines up 17-6.
Bresnahan was the Wolverines’ leading receiver with eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
To close out the half, the Wolverines put together a physical, nine-play, 55-yard drive that featured nine straight runs. Torgerson punched it in from a yard out, putting West up 24-6.
“I thought two weeks in a row we’ve been the most physical team overall,” West head coach Adam Clack said. “We played with good discipline. We showed great resilience on both sides of the ball. So proud of the way the defense played. They’ve really set the tone the last two weeks.”
The Wolverines’ defense was dominant in the first half. They held Dacula to 68 total yards and two first downs in the half. Of the Falcons’ seven first half drives, one ended with a touchdown, two ended with interceptions and the other four were three-and-outs.
And the second half started with more of the same. Sophomore linebacker Jacob Weldy picked up back-to-back sacks on Dacula’s opening drive, forcing another punt.
“We just kept getting after it,” Weldy said “We smelled blood in the water and just kept going.”
The defense finished the game with four sacks and forced three turnovers.
West effectively ended the game on the ensuing drive, as it put together a 14-play, 76-yard drive that took over three minutes. Hamilton found Bryce Jones for a 4-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal, putting the Wolverines up 31-6.
Hamilton finished the game going 24-for-34 for 240 yards with two touchdowns and an interception through the air.
Clack knows there’s a long way to go, but he likes what he’s seen so far from his team and hopes that they can keep it going.
“Right now I see a bunch of young men with a lot of confidence,” Clack said. “We’re still 0-0 in the region, which is gonna be an unbelievably tough region. As a coach, I’m confident that their confidence will only inspire them to work harder. If we do that and start correcting the little things, I think we can have a special football team.”