Monday musings from the Golden Armchair
Beginning with South Forsyth. Ouch. The War Eagles have been on top in the regular season the past few years, and have had their share of big wins. They’ve also had a few tough losses. But rarely have they been outplayed as completely as they were last Friday night at Blessed Trinity. The Titans, reigning Georgia Class 4A state champs and currently ranked in the Max Preps National Top Fifty High School programs regardless of class, lived up to that lofty ranking with a 35-6 precision demolition of the War Eagles. Senior Running Back and (have we mentioned this?) Ohio State commit Steele Chambers ran for a score and THREW for two more, all in the first half, to propel the Titans to a 28-0 halftime lead. BT coasted the second half, with Chambers never entering the game. Even South’s lone touchdown drive was tainted with a tipped extra point. What’s worse, the War Eagles were hit again by the injury bug. Feature Running Back Jordan Brunson left in the 2nd quarter with an apparent leg injury and did not return. The Junior’s status is still uncertain. And Junior Linebacker Brett Morlanne was helped off the field in the first half and went to the locker room aboard a cart at the break.
The War Eagles were never able to adjust to the misdirection plays from the Titans’ star Chambers. Twice the 2017 Class 4A Player of the Year took a pitch to his right. As the defense swarmed to him, he tossed a 20 yarder to QB Jake Smith down the opposite sideline, and later a 35 yard strike to WR Ryan Davis, who was left unguarded on the back side and scooted across the field wide open. The size and speed advantage was apparent across the lineup, perhaps never more so than on a play late in the second half. South QB Drew Morris, harassed all night by the Titan’s pressure, found what looked like an escape to the outside and took it full speed. But BT Sr. Defensive Lineman Jake Lyons stayed with him step for step and rolled him out of bounds short of the first down marker.
The Player of the Game for South Forsyth might well have been Punter William Botta. Three times Botta had to field a high snap. On the first, the Junior kicker chased the ball to the end zone and managed to run it back to the twenty yard line. BT still scored on Chambers’ rushing TD. On the second, Botta leaped high to snag the snap, then got off a decent punt into Titan territory. On the third, Botta again chased the ball down to his own twenty and got off a beautiful kick, which the Titan returner let go and the ball rolled to a stop at the BT twenty.
The struggle for the War eagles may have been the first glimpse of the attrition caused by the split with new neighbor Denmark High, where South lost a third of their 2018 roster to the new school district. Blessed Trinity, a private Catholic High School, is at the top of its game. While nobody wants to admit it, the cuts may be deeper than anticipated. But no looking back. The War Eagles face Etowah for their Home Opener Friday night, and everybody will be looking to see how the most recently successful squad in the County responds to its toughest loss in years. Both teams will come into the game 1-1. We’ll have it live for you on Forsyth Sports 365.com and the War Eagle Sports Network starting at 6:30. Tune in early for a glimpse at the heroic work of some Puppy Dogs when we interview Kristin Hill with the organization Canine Assistants. CA has developed a relationship with South Forsyth that has students and teachers abuzz. For more info ahead of the game, visit canineassistants.org.
“ Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
North Forsyth’s new Quarterback Carter Mullikin improved his
Quarterback Rating (QBR) from a .9 to a 70 in the Raiders 24-21 win at Gainesville. The Red Elephants are always tough at home and nearly stole this one late, but the Raiders held on. Mullikin threw to Charlie Aiken for a score and Bryson Trigg added one on the ground. The Raiders hit three of four field goal attempts. The Raider defense was tough and showed what it can do when the offense holds on to the football. North committed 7 turnovers in their opening loss, but just one vs Gainesville. North will try to keep the momentum when they host Northview Friday night in Raider Valley.
Lambert won its first game of 2018 with a 42-14 home victory over Chattahoochee. QB Peyton Rich is getting better. He threw for 2 TDs and 4 INTs in their opening loss, and 2ds and just 1 INT Friday night, and improved his QBR from a 62 to a 96. The team also rushed for 212 yards vs just 22 in game one. Meanwhile, the defense accounted for 7 tackles for loss, the same as in game 1. Like with North, the defensive effort looks a lot better when the offense can put some points on the board.
Forsyth Central had a bye, so the Bulldogs got to keep the celebration going after their first victory in a season and a half. They welcome the always dangerous Cass High squad to the Doghouse Friday night.
West Forsyth had a bye and another week to reflect on their six hour road trip 27-20 loss at Camden County last week. It doesn’t get any easier for the Wolverines in their home opener as they welcome Hewitt Trussville into the Den. The school from the Birmingham area is trying to right their ship after a narrow 34-30 defeat to Cedar Grove. The Wolverines tallied 300 yards of offense in Kingsland, but fumbled three times. They’re out to fix that this week.
Milton survived a closer than expected battle with crosstown rival Alpharetta, coming from behind for a 37-27 win. Region 5’s best Quarterback, Senior Jordan Yates, threw for 175 yards with 0 INTs and three TDs, including an 80 yarder right over the top to receiver Jordan Cox. Cox also caught a 32 yarder to go with his 124 yards. The win keeps the Eagles in the Georgia Class 7A Top Ten mix at #7 with their win and the W last week over #9 Archer. Next up for Milton, at home against Fort Lauderdale, Florida legend Cardinal Gibbons. The Chiefs come in looking for their first win of the season.
And finally, Denmark wins it’s first game EVER against a similarly new school in Cherokee Bluff out of Flowery Branch. The 43-0 shutout puts Head Coach Terry Crowder in rare company, becoming only the third coach in
Georgia High School football history to oversee a shutout in the inaugural game at a brand new school. QB Ben Whitlock went 12 of 17 for 322 yards and five touchdowns, two on pretty deep balls to Nick Carrozza and Za’Vion Capers. Devon DuCille finished Denmark’s first ever drive with a three yard score for the Danes’ first ever touchdown. These are all familiar names to local Sports Freaks, from other places, now come together as Danes. A nice start for the 4A school, and one game at a time. But guess what lurks in waiting on October 5th? A visit from Blessed Trinity.