West Forsyth dominated Johns Creek 38-6 at home on Friday night to clinch third place in Region 6-AAAAAA and a spot in the state playoffs.
West (7-3, 7-2) was dominant in the first half, racking up 302 yards of total offense, while holding Johns Creek (4-6, 4-5) to 112 yards in the game’s first two quarters.
“The defense played outstanding tonight,” West head Coach Adam Clack said. “I think it’s their most complete game. And that’s great cause that’s where we wanna be heading into the playoffs playing our best football.”
The Wolverines will head to Suwanee next Friday to play Peachtree Ridge (7-3), the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAAAAA, in the first round of the state playoffs.
“I thought it was a big win going into the playoffs,” West running back Grant Torgerson said. “It was a great way to finish the season. Of course I gotta give a shoutout to my offensive line, they had a great game all-around.”
Kiernen Hamilton threw a pair of touchdowns for the Wolverines in the first half, one to Austin Reid and the other to Garrett Broxson. The latter was a 35-yard dime that gave the Wolverines a 17-0 lead with 3:37 left in the first half.
But the score could’ve been even more lopsided if it weren’t for some sloppy play by the Wolverine offense. Early in the second quarter, with the ball inside the Gladiator 5-yard line, Hamilton fumbled and Johns Creek’s Jack Somers scooped it up and took it out to midfield. Somers may have taken it all the way if it weren’t for Austin Reid’s touchdown-saving tackle.
The fumble was Hamilton’s second of the game. But the junior also went 19-for-29 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“Ball security made it a little sloppy,” Clack said. “Offensively we were moving the football but a few bad decisions and some careless mistakes kinda plagued us early on. When we executed, we looked very good.”
Torgerson and Clay Crocker carried the load for the Wolverines’ rushing attack. Torgerson had 20 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns, while Crocker added 94 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
“Grant’s been a workhorse for us all year and Clay Crocker has been working extremely hard being predominately a JV player,” Clack said. “He got to touch the ball a few times last week and we realized that we had to give him some opportunities and I just can’t say enough about the sophomore stepping up and running like a mad man. I’m so happy and proud of him.”
After Johns Creek opened the second half with a quick three-play, 65-yard touchdown drive, Crocker answered with a 41-yard touchdown run that left the Gladiators’ defense in the dust, putting the Wolverines up 24-6 in the third.
The Wolverines’ defense held the Gladiators to 4-for-13 on third down, while allowing just 265 yards in the game. They also racked up four sacks and recovered a fumble. Johns Creek had 13 offensive drives in the game, with seven of those drives resulted in punts and three ending on fourth down stops.
“I think we brought a little more pressure this week and the guys responded to that. They were just playing hard. We were around the football all night. A lot of contested balls, a lot of batted balls, controlling the line of scrimmage, just good, fundamental defense,” Clack said.
The Wolverines are going to need that to defense to be stout again next week when facing one of Gwinnett County’s powerhouse programs.
“I know we’re gonna go in the underdog and I’m lovin’ it,” Torgerson said. “I wanna shock whoever we play.”