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Football: West Forsyth blows past Cherokee
West Forsyth defense 09-16-22
West Forsyth's Raleigh Herbert (11) forces a fumble during a non-region matchup with Cherokee Friday at home. (Photo by Derrick Richemond)

With the Warriors of Cherokee having given up 30 or more points in three of their first four games, the staff at West Forsyth had to feel pretty good about how and where they could attack the visitors.

With good balance on the ground and through the air, the Wolverines did just that, posting a convincing 34-7 win Friday night at home.

The victory pushed West Forsyth over .500 with now a full two weeks off before Region 6-7A play begins Oct. 7 at Denmark.

Peyton Streko 09-16-22
West Forsyth's Peyton Streko carries the ball during a non-region matchup against Cherokee Friday at home. (Photo by Derrick Richemond)
That balance came in the form of workhorse senior running back Peyton Streko's continued ground dominance (18 carries, 155 yards, 3 total TDs) and senior quarterback Jack Tomlinson's passing (12-for-17, 200 yards passing, 3 TD passes), with the righty slinger connecting with six different receivers on his way to the big game through the air.

"We saw some things on film that were hoping we could take advantage of," West Forsyth head coach Dave Svehla said. "I was proud of Jack, because I thought mostly he made good decisions with the football and threw the ball pretty accurately tonight."

Tomlinson had first-half touchdown passes of 26, 21 and 20 yards to three different receivers, as wideouts Brian Tawuo and Bowen Orr caught scoring strikes sandwiched around a Streko swing pass jaunt for six.

Those together with a Streko's 4-yard early second-quarter plunge gave the Wolverines (3-2) a commanding 27-0 halftime lead. The Warriors (1-4) had six first-half possessions, but penalties, turnovers and spotty special teams play hurt them in the field-position battle.

With the defense having most of the answers to thwart Cherokee stretching further into the third quarter, Tomlinson loosened up the Warriors defense with a pair of long completions to Tawuo and then sophomore tight end Cole Cato.

Streko finished off the drive with a 40-yard dash through a gap off-right tackle, and once the Air Force commit got past the first level, it was a cloud of dust after that for a 34-0 lead.

Cherokee added a late fourth-quarter 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Savasir to Weston Bergman. It came after a long interception return by Warriors cornerback Daniel Young put them deep in Wolverine territory, and that made up the final result.

With the aforementioned 14 days to think about region play, Svehla isn't sore about the odd scheduling cushion, seeing it as a chance to continue working in key areas.

"Look, we open with Denmark, and they're a really good football team," he said. "It's going to be a battle. We've got the two weeks where we don't play, but I'm actually looking forward to it. We've got a lot of time to work on some things we need to get better at."