Reynolds is easily the most improved JV football team in Forsyth County. The record testifies to that. A year ago, the Demons didn’t win a game. This year, they’re 6-2 with two games remaining on the schedule.
“We have a tough, hard-nosed group,” said Coach Mike Holmes. “They’re not the biggest or the strongest, but they are fighters and they refuse to quit. In three of our victories, we had to come back in the second half to win those games. There’s something special about how they play in the second half. They believe that the fourth quarter is their time.”
Reynolds got off to a 6-0 start, but suffered back-to-back losses. First, the Demons suffered a gut-wrenching 10-7 loss to Mount Tabor. RJR trailed 10-0 in the third quarter, but closed the gap on Devin Mack’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Akia Pruitt. The Demons made one final push in the closing minutes, but their potentially game-winning scoring drive stalled after they crossed midfield.
The next week, Reagan revved up its offense in the second half to saddle the Demons with a 44-6 loss. RJR’s lone score came early in the fourth quarter when Tory Robinson darted and dashed around defenders on a 52-yard touchdown run. The Raiders led 14-0 at the half.
Defense kept Reynolds in the game in the first half. Two goal-line stops in the second quarter prevented Reagan from turning a closely-contested game into a route.
On fourth and goal, linebacker Krishawn Hariston tackled Tyler Griffin behind the line of scrimmage for negative yardage to stuff one scoring threat. After the Reynolds offense lost a fumble inside its own 10-yard line, the defense delivered another timely stop. Malik Lane intercepted a Reagan pass in the end zone and returned it 20 yards to stymie another scoring drive.
“What hurt us so much was our inability to generate any offense,” said Holmes. “As a result, our defense was on the field for long stretches of time. It wasn’t a good night, but we’re still in a position where we can finish with one of the best records the jayvees have had in a long time. We’ll go back to work and get ready for our last two games (home game tonight vs. North Davidson; at West Forsyth on Oct. 25).”
To some extent, the record that Reynolds has posted so far can be considered surprising. Since the beginning of pre-season practice, the Demons have had four quarterbacks.
Nick Shupin, the original starter, suffered a hip flexor injury before the season even started. Byron Young took over, but not for long. He suffered a broken leg in the first game of the year against Parkland and is finished for this season.
With Young’s departure, Mack and Montae Buford have shared time at quarterback and it hasn’t slowed the Demons’ progress. The quarterbacks benefit from a productive ground game led by Robinson, Lane, Pat Harrison and Stephen Green.
Hariston, Robinson, Lane and Harrison are also stand-outs on defense, along with Chance Myers and Hank Holzwarth.