Reynolds prevails after surviving early punch from East Forsyth

East Forsyth running back Stephon Holland,9 in blue, stiff arms Tsi Porter, 30 in white, as he attempts to gain extra yardage during the first quarter of Thursday's game.

Reynolds prevails after surviving early punch from East Forsyth
September 01
07:05 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



When a team receives the opening kickoff and takes it right down the field and scores on their first possession, it can demoralize the opposing team. But not Reynolds High.  East Forsyth landed the first blow in Thursday’s match-up, but Reynolds did not let that deter them from their game plan.

After taking a six to nothing lead early in the first  quarter, East Forsyth’s defense stepped on the field and stuffed the running game of Reynolds early and ended their first drive with a sack from Miles Brinson. The Eagles’ offense took the field and methodically drove the ball right back into Reynolds’ territory with a long run from running back Chris Chaplen III and a clutch fourth down reception from AJ Williams that gave them first and goal.

Looking to take full control early in the game, East Forsyth turned to the running game to give them a two-score lead, but fumbles on the two-yard line gave possession back to the Demons.

“Early on we did have momentum but we just weren’t able to continue to put successful plays together,” says Ronald Horton, North Forsyth JV head coach.  “We would go two plays and have success, then the third play it would be a high snap, fumble, or missed assignment, so we couldn’t be consistent enough and that was the bottom line.” With the Demons still unable to get into a rhythm on offense, the Eagles began to drive the ball once again to capitalize, but Eagles’ quarterback Gammon McReynolds’ long pass was dropped on third down and they were unable to score once again.

Following the turnover on downs, the Reynolds’ offense seemed to wake up. Sticking to their commitment to the run game, holes started opening up for the bruising running back trio of Nick Imes, Desmond Hood and Shaheim Revel. They were able to gain some momentum before the end of the half but were still unable to score. The first half ended with a 6-0 score with East Forsyth on top but feeling like they left points on the field. “I was a little concerned because in previous years usually when a team drives and gets that first score it deflates a team,” said Rod Dunlap, Reynolds JV head coach.

“We have been work-ing on these guys mentally as well as physically, so when adversity comes you have to fight through it and they showed it.” Following the intermission, Reynolds continued to grind the running game and was able to score their first touchdown of the game with a pass from quarterback Mysta Goodloe to tight end Saadiq Johnson, giving them the lead following the two-point conversion. Leading 8-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, Demons’ running back Nick Imes broke a long run down to the one yard line, but fumbled and the referees huddled together to determine if the ball went out of bounds or through the back of the end zone, which would result in a touchback and give East Forsyth possession of the ball.

The referees determined the ball went out on the one and Revel scored on the next play. Reynolds scored on the two point conversion and took a 16-6 lead early in the fourth. “I think we had some first game jitters but once we settled down and reverted back to our coaching and fundamentals, I think it took over and they were able to fly around and play ball,” Dunlap said. “Our game plan was to keep them on the field. All we want is three and a half yards a play and we just rode our horses and keep running the same plays and they couldn’t stop it for the whole game.”

East was able to close the gap later in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run from running back Ahmani Marshall bringing the score to 16-14 with 8:05 left in the game. The Devils were unwavering as they continued to run the ball again and again wearing the Eagles’ defense down further.

With 2:17 left in the game, Revel scored once again bringing the score to 24-14. The Eagles were able to score a late touchdown, but was not able to get the ball back as the Demons just ran the ball effectively to end the game.

Coach Horton was pleased with his team’s effort but somewhat disappointed with the untimely turnovers and wants to build some positive momentum from this loss.

“It’s tough to get better when you lose but that’s what we have to do.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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