Vikings optimistic about season
So far, North Forsyth is winless in junior varsity football, but that doesn’t mean the Vikings are destined for a season of frustration, disappointment and agony. The early story line is all about North’s inability to put points on the board. The defense, on the other hand, is stout and stingy.
A look back at the first two games reveals a lot. The Vikings (0-2) opened the season with a 7-2 loss to Reagan, and the following week, they lost 15-0 to Mount Tabor in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates.
“We’re far from being out of it,” said Coach David Hill. “There’s good potential here and we still have high hopes. It’s important for us to keep developing and learn from our mistakes. We have a young team, but we will mature.”
North Forsyth’s opportunistic defense took center stage against Mount Tabor. The Vikings, led by Brandon Campbell, Dacieon Reynolds (interception) and Keith Anthony (recovered fumble), came up with drive-killing stops which allowed North Forsyth to stay within striking distance.
Mount Tabor grabbed an 8-0 lead in the second quarter and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter to put the game away.
North Forsyth had its chances. Khylill Walker returned a Mount Tabor kickoff 60 yards late in the second quarter to put the Vikings in excellent scoring position. But North came up empty and couldn’t score on four downs from the Spartans four-yard line. With about 3:30 remaining in the game, the Vikings had a first-and-goal at Mount Tabor’s 5, but couldn’t score in three tries. A 24-yard field goal attempt by Alexis Reyes was no good.
“It’s all a matter of getting our offense going,” said Hill. “It wasn’t until late in the game that we started to make some things happen. We’re going to keep our heads up and stay positive.”
The Vikings have adequate weapons in Walker, Campbell Austin Blakley and Chris Flood. Walker, who may be North’s best athlete, is a swift runner who has good hands. Campbell is a big hitter who lines up at nose guard on defense, and he’s equally punishing as an inside runner who has the speed to run away from tacklers.
Strong-armed Blakely, a left-handed quarterback, can make accurate throws against tight coverage and Flood has the look of a promising wide receiver. In North’s final offensive drive of the game against Mount Tabor, they connected on two passes for 50 yards; one of those hook-ups came on a 41-yard completion.
“We just have to fight a little harder and not give up,” said Campbell. “It’s true that things haven’t been going our way so far, but we’re going to keep our heads in the game and keep working. The things that we’re going through right now are helping us to get ready for the conference (Mid-Piedmont 3A).”