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Football: West wins shootout with Alpharetta
Erdely, Wieczorek combine for more than 500 yards of offense
West Forsyths Jake Wieczorek carries the ball against Alpharetta on Friday at the Raiders field. Wieczorek finished with four touchdowns. - photo by Autumn Vetter

ALPHARETTA — A.J. Erdely and Jake Wieczorek were simply unstoppable.

The West Forsyth quarterback and running back duo combined for 503 offensive yards, as the No. 5-ranked Wolverines outdueld Alpharetta 63-42 in the Region 6-AAAAAA opener on Friday night at Raider Field.

Erdely finished the game 9-for-15 for 141 passing yards and added 199 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Wieczorek tallied 163 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries.

West (4-0, 1-0 Region 6-AAAAAA) finished the game with a gaudy 597 yards from scrimmage and did not committ a turnover.

"You never go into a game thinking you’re going to score that many points, or give up that many, but it was a great night and the kids played hard and rose up when they had to," West head coach Frank Hepler said.

"The offensive line did a great job. We wore them down. The speed of our guys surprises people; it was a night of execution."

West’s big night of offense was necessary to overcome a big night from Alpharetta quarterback Josh Dobbs, an Arizona State recruit who completed 32 of 51 pass attempts for 497 yards, five passing touchdowns and an interception. Dobbs added a sixth touchdown on the ground.

Behind Dobbs, Alpharetta (1-3, 0-1) cut the score to 41-35 with 10:25 remaining in the third quarter, but the Wolverines responded with 15 unanswered points, including a 16-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that ate up more than six minutes of clock time before being capped by a three-yard run from Wieczorek. The offense stayed on the field as Erdely punched in the two-point conversion, boosting the lead to 49-35.

"I [give credit] to the offensive line, but I’m not lying, they were moving bodies like you wouldn’t believe tonight," Erdely said. "I had a gaping hole on the first score that coach Hepler could have walked through.

"Coach [Adam] Clack had the perfect scheme for [our] offense."

On the Raiders’ ensuing possession, West defensive back Will Brown recovered a fumble on the Wolverines’ 12-yard line — the second of three turnovers for Alpharetta.

Erdely and the Wolverines took advantage of the turnover with a 75-yard touchdown run from Wieczorek that put them ahead 56-35 going into the fourth quarter.

It only took Alpharetta eight seconds to score in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Dobbs to Daniel Clements, but the Wolverines answered again with a nine-play, 80-yard, touchdown drive finished off on a 10-yard touchdown run by Wieczorek for the final score of the game.

"Our [offensive] line did a great job tonight," Wieczorek said. "The perimeter blocking was great so I had the edge a couple of times and it all worked out in the end.

"Our offense is experienced and we work together well and like each other, so there’s no reason we didn’t think coming in that we couldn’t put up 63 points."

West started on fire, as Erdely executed a zone read keeper up the middle for a 71-yard touchdown.

The Raiders responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive capped on a three-yard pass from Dobbs to Clements, tying the score at 7-7.

On the ensuing series, West’s Trever O’Brien got in on the scoring action with a 17-yard touchdown run. O’Brien finished the game with 84 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Four plays later, the Wolverines’ defense made its presence felt, when Mohamed Camara intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.

But after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on West, Alpharetta capitalized on the field position with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Dobbs to Carlos Burse, cutting the lead to 21-14 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was all West, as kicker Timmy Hartshorn nailed field goals from 42 and 33 yards out — the later coming with one second left in the half. O’Brien added another score on a 17-yard run up the middle and Wieczorek tacked on another touchdown with a six-yard end-around.

Alpharetta scored its only points of the quarter on a 16-yard quarterback keeper from Dobbs.

West has scored 126 points in its past two games and will host Centennial (0-4) on Friday.