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Football: West Forsyth hands Gainesville first region loss, 14-7
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West Forsyth junior Oscar Delp leaps over Gainesville defenders while carrying the ball for the Wolverines Friday during the first half of their game in Gainesville at City Park Stadium. - photo by By Scott Rogers

By Nathan Berg

FCN regional staff

West Forsyth kept its region winning streak alive Friday evening, taking down Gainesville 14-7 to claim its third consecutive win against Region 6-7A opponents.  

Running back William Orris gained over 150 scrimmage yards on 36 touches for the Wolverines (5-3, 3-1 Region 6-7A) in the win, scoring a touchdown on a screen pass in the second quarter.

"That’s what a workhorse does," West Forsyth coach David Svehla said of the performance. "We don’t want to ask our running back to do that all the time, but that’s what we needed and that’s what our linemen wanted to do."

Naim Cheeks picked up 97 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown for Gainesville (5-3, 3-1 Region 6-7A), adding five catches for 38 yards, but the effort was not enough to pull the Red Elephants to victory. 

After the game, Svehla said timely defensive plays from his team — which picked off Gainesville quarterback Gionni Williams two times in the fourth quarter — were the difference in the contest.

"I thought we played pretty good football," he said. "I thought Gainesville’s defense did some really good things against us in the first half and we found a way to score. ... The defense made some big plays when we needed to make them."

All the scoring in the contest came in the first half, beginning with a West Forsyth touchdown pass from Keegan Stover to Oscar Delp right before the end of the first quarter that capped off a 7-minute drive which took up over half of the frame.

Gainesville answered with a 4-yard run from Cheeks that was set up by a long punt return from Lenny Chatman, which set the Red Elephants up inside the West Forsyth 20-yard line. The Wolverines responded with a touchdown pass to Orris on the ensuing possession to go up 14-7, and that was it for scoring in the game. 

The Red Elephants forced a punt, a turnover on downs and blocked a field goal on three defensive drives in the second half, but a pair of interceptions from Gionni Williams in the fourth quarter sank Gainesville’s comeback hopes. 

Orris played in place of injured running back Daba Fofana for the second straight week. He turned in a 120-yard performance last week in his debut, averaging more than seven yards per carry and scoring on a 38-yard screen pass. 

The win moves West into second place behind Denmark (4-3, 4-0 Region 6-7A). West will travel to Lambert next week, then host Denmark on Nov. 20 in a regular-season finale that could determine the region championship.