0 for Forsyth. It’s catchy, with the alliteration of the F giving the phrase the necessary bounce. Yeah, it’s catchy if you’re a fan of any team not in Forsyth County. For the residents here, though, it’s a sad reminder that the high school football programs in Forsyth County still have a way to go before they can compete regularly with the Gwinnetts of the world. Especially in the playoffs. Three Forsyth County teams advanced to the storied GHSA post season tournament, but none could hang, including vaunted South Forsyth, ranked as high as 4th in the state in Class 7A by the Georgia Sportswriter’s Association. Mountain View, a team as talented as any in North Georgia, came in as a 4th seed due to the state’s absured tie breaker formula and showed the speed and depth that eludes Forsyth County programs still. Missing two members of its historic senior class, South Forsyth didn’t have the depth needed to stay with the Bears for four quarters. Complicating matters were penalties and turnovers. South had chances to move the football and put points on the board early, and many of those chances came through the air. The receivers were getting open, but Senior Quarterback Cal Morris was unusually off. It wouldn’t really hurt til later, thanks to South’s Top Ten defense. The score was 10-10 at the half. Mountain View put up a touchdown in the third, and South marched to the Mountain View 20. An apparent completion to the amazing Sophomore Za’vion Capers looked to set South up inside the five, but a fumble at the end of the play was recovered by South, and fearing another turnover, Head Coach Jeff Arnette decided to take the field goal. 17-13 at the end of three.
All season long during our live game calls, Forsyth Sports 365 has highlighted the game changing play. The one that turns the momentum at a moment’s notice and contributes mightily to the end result. This game, like all the others, had one. It’s reminiscent of the big play in South’s game at North Forsyth, where just before the half, with North in the Red Zone, South intercepted and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. It was a close ballgame, but at that moment, as South celebrated the pick six, you could hear the air go out of the frenzied crowd. This one was like it in the same way. Just maybe a touch more spectacular.
South Forsyth took over the fourth quarter with a splendid drive. Everything was working. Mountain View, committed to stopping the rushing attack of Jared Honey, left some doors open and South was running through them. Quick passes to the sideline, slants, and Morris quarterback draws had South at the Bears’ 15 yard line and ready to take the lead. The crowd was screaming. A first down run by Honey got the Eagles to the thirteen. On second down, Morris floated a little screen pass down the line. It looked like a completion was imminent. But suddenly a flash of white jersey entered the picture. Linebacker Blake Carroll, who seemed to be everywhere on both sides of the ball all night, had sniffed the play, jumped the route and with one hand intercepted the lazy throw. 87 yards later Mountain View had a pick six and the lead was now 24-13. On the next drive, Morris drove the team to the Mountain View eight yard line. He tried a throw to the corner of the end zone into double coverage, and the Bears’ Marcus Broughton intercepted and returned it to the South 40. South would hold but on the next possession would turn it over on downs. Mountain View worked the ball down to the South 29 yard line with under two minutes to play and on 4th and 5 line up for an apparent field goal. But they called a time out. Sending the offense back onto the field, Mountain View went for it, and accomplished the only thing that was missing from the evening’s performance. Georgia Tech verbal and all-state receiver Malachi Carter beat single coverage on a sideline fly and QB Matthew Edwards hit him in stride for the final nail. The combo had been silent all night. But during the regular season they had teamed up for 1200 yards and twenty two touchdowns, so it was only proper that this signature combo would show up. Final 31-13. Another heartbreak for Forsyth County, as their best chance to advance fell by the wayside.
It might be painful, but it was an exciting game, and perhaps something can be learned from listening to the replay. There were a few heroic moments throughout, so here it is. The replay of the final game of 2017 in Forsyth County.
Elsewhere, in Hoschton, West Forsyth hung tough but couldn’t stay with Mill Creek, the second seed in Region 6. The Wolverines lost to the Hawks 29-14 in a game carried live by Georgia Public Broadcasting. I didn’t see the game, but I heard their announcers were stale. 🙂 Head Coach Shawn Cahill graduates a solid class of Seniors, including all world tight end and Vanderbilt commit Ben Bresnehan. The next class will likely have more of his imprint on it. Plus he’ll benefit from the fantastic teaching of Vickery Creek Middle Coach Mark Taylor, who won another county title for the West feeder.
In Suwanne, on the other side of the Chattahoochee, North Forsyth met the behemoth of the season in Region 6, North Gwinnett, and got thrashed 55-7. It was a tough end of the season for the Raiders, who entered the Civil War against South Forsyth a month ago with a 5-2 record, but dropped their last 4 to finish 5-6. With record setting QB Ben Bales graduating, Coach Robert Craft will have his first real rebuilding job ahead of him. But his program enters its third year and one could expect the rising juniors from the back to back middle school champion North Forsyth Middle of a couple years ago will begin to emerge. Wide receiver Nicky Dalmolin, who lettered this year as a Sophomore, leads the way.
The brackets for the second round are set. Milton, the only survivor from Region 5 (and the only Region 5 team NOT from Forsyth County) plays resurgent Brookwood. The rest of the names are all to familiar to Georgia High School Football followers. In the bottom half of that bracket, Tift County travels to play another resurgent program, Hillgrove. In the bottom bracket on the left, Mill Creek heads cross county to play Archer in a battle of legends, and Colquitt County travels north to take on Walton. On the right side of the bracket, Mountain View will try to have the best visage as it travels to play Parkview, while below it’s two more regulars in an earlier than usual tilt, McEachern travelling south to play Lowndes. Bottom right features Grayson visitng Suwanee to p lay North Gwinnett, and Marietta heading west to play a team we’re all familiar with, as they’ve played a couple teams from Region 5, Woodstock.
And so as the legends play on, it will be another year before our young men get the chance to play for the chance to appear in Mercedes Benz stadium. With new school Denmark coming on line to open 2018, redistricting will impact Lambert, South and West. One of the first changes with the new district lines, we’ve hear, might move South’s exciting Capers to Denmark. This is, lf course, unofficial, but you can imagine these possibilities will exist across the county. For now, get ready to enjoy some winter sports in FoCo, and let the best teams and individuals advance to the glory they’ve worked so hard to earn.