W. Forsyth loses quarterback and game against East

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

W. Forsyth loses quarterback and  game against East
October 19
05:00 2017

The annual matchup between the Titans and Eagles is usually one of the better games of the season.  Coming into last week’s clash, it looked to be another tough game.  With the Titans losing their starting quarterback on the first possession, it was an uphill battle. They were unable to overcome and fell to the Eagles 35-13.

The Titans opened the game and drove the ball right down the field.  As they entered the red zone, starting quarterback, Jalen Ferguson, took a run along the right side and injured his leg during the process.  He was out for the game and perhaps the season, which seemed to deflate the W. Forsyth team.

Even with the injury to Ferguson, the Titans kept it even at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.  The floodgates began to open in the second quarter as Robbin Smith scored a pair of touchdowns that help give the Eagles a 21-0 lead at the half.

“We were driving the ball pretty good and he (Ferguson) is our leader and when he went down we wound up not scoring on that drive and I think that kind of deflated the kids,” said Titan head coach Jared Eure.  “A lot of the kids are not used to seeing an injury like that and sometimes it shocks them and they can get nervous.

“I think the injury kind of got the offense out of sync,” he continued.  “But defensively, I think East just ran right over top of us.  Offensively, they just overpowered us and got the lead and we couldn’t move the ball.”

Eagle head coach Ronald Horton said the injury to West’s starting quarterback did not alter their game plan as they knew this was going to be a tough game regardless of who was behind center.  He raved about how his defense held up early on in the game giving the offense breathing room.

“I’ll be honest, initially on that first drive they held the ball for quite a long time and I think our defense just showed a lot of guts and when they got down inside the red zone, they refused to give up any points,” Horton said.  “I was really proud of that and I think that set the tone for everyone else.”

The success of the Eagles’ running game in the first half opened up the play action passing game in the third quarter when quarterback Gammon McReynolds connected with receiver Jamison Warren for a touchdown.  The Titans kept fighting but were still held scoreless through three quarters.

Things began to open up for the Titans in the fourth quarter, however.  Running back Nasion Johnson scored his first of two touchdowns of the night with a short run from inside the five yard line.  East Forsyth immediately answered with a 20-yard touchdown run from backup quarterback Ty’shaun Lyles to push the lead back up to 35-6.

“The fourth quarter was better because it seemed like they settled down a little bit and were able to get a couple scores,” Eure said.  “We got a touchdown off a pass and one off a run so if we had two more quarters to play we may have made it a game.”

Eure stated that the loss of Ferguson changed the entire game plan of their offense.  He says the backup quarterback is actually the starting receiver so in essence they had to replace two positions. 

“The injury changes a lot and we emphasized that at the end of the game,” he went on to say.  “We told them the second and third string guys need to pay attention in practice because if one person goes down it changes the whole dynamic of everything so everybody has to be ready.  Bottom line is: East outplayed us and they just beat us.”

Eure said the effort of his team despite the injury was admirable.  He says he has been at the school for 16 years and it has always been that way for his team. 

“They never give up and they always want to do their best and they will fight for you,” he said.  “We have good, smart kids that like to fly around the ball even when we are losing.  We just tell them to keep fighting and get one stop and take it one series at a time.”

Coach Horton says he challenged his team to respond after losing the previous two weeks to Reidsville and Paige.  He thought his team came out and played well in all three phases of the game.

“I challenged the guys during the week and called out the sophomores and told them they have to lead,” he said.  “We took some tough losses the last couple weeks and I am really proud at how they responded.  We preach adversity and we implement that in our practice plan.  I didn’t want them to get too high after a fast start or too low after two straight losses and I think they responded well.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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