Coach Brian Bowman never doubted that West Forsyth’s junior varsity football team had talent. Still, there was a huge question mark. How well would this group come together as a team?
The record shows that Bowman’s squad has gelled very well. With one game left to play in the regular season, the Titans are 7-3 and are looking for win No. 8 in today’s 6 p.m. match-up against rival Reynolds.
“They have more than proven themselves,” said Bowman of his team. “This group has learned a tremendous amount this season. It’s been a good experience for the coaches and the players. The lessons they’ve learned go beyond football.”
With the exception of a 30-6 blow-out defeat to Reagan, the Titans have been in every ball game. Along the way, they lost closely-contested games to East Forsyth and Richmond County by a combined total of five points.
A week ago, West Forsyth delivered its most impressive win of the season, beating Mount Tabor 31-28. The Titans dominated for most of the game and led 24-7 at the start of the fourth quarter.
But the Spartans managed to orchestrate some late-game heroics as quarterback Divine Deablo scored twice on short runs to cut West Forsyth’s lead to 24-20 with 5:08 left to play in the game. That’s when the Titans went into self-destruct mode as quarterback Darion Slade fumbled the snap inside the West 10-yard line. Mount Tabor recovered and Deablo ran eight yards for a touchdown on the next play.
The game’s momentum was clearly in Mount Tabor’s favor. Slade, however, had other ideas.
On West Forsyth’s next offensive series, Slade completed a third down pass to Jordan Terry to keep the drive going. Three plays later, Slade faked the hand-off and zipped past several defenders on an 18-yard run. Bowman called Slade’s number again on the next play, and this time, he ran 25 yards for the game-clinching touchdown and West Forsyth extended its lead to 31-20.
“The hole opened up, and then I saw where I had more room to run if I could cut it back,” said Slade. “I made the move and took it from there.”
Tabor bounced back to pull within three points of the Titans when Deablo scored on a quarterback keeper. The Spartans tried an onsides kick, but West Forsyth recovered and ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
With Slade orchestrating the offense, West Forsyth hasn’t had problems putting points on the board. Defensively, the Titans aren’t particularly overpowering, but they play as a unit. Courtland Sample, Davian Canty, Matthew Ingram, Charles Neace and Frankie Alessio (injured earlier this season) form a strong nucleus.