Reagan still chasing perfection 26-24

Reagan still chasing perfection 26-24
October 25
05:00 2018

The Reagan JV football team has been dominating their opponents for the majority of the season.  Faced with an equally matched opponent, the Raiders squeaked out a narrow 26-24 victory against East Forsyth last Thursday, Oct. 18, to stay undefeated on the year.

This game had the makings of a trap game written all over it.  The Raiders had lost their starting quarterback to injury in the prior game and moved running back Bryson Canty behind center.  With a week to prepare for the Eagles, the Raider coaching staff simplified the game plan for him.

The game plan for the game was run, run, run some more and surprise the defense with the occasional pass, said Chris McCoy, JV head coach.

“It is a work in progress and Bryson has really picked it up,” said McCoy.  “I have thrown a lot at him and we have had our ups and downs or bumped heads sometimes, but it is for the betterment of the team.  Right now we are doing very well with his leadership.”

Reagan got off to a great start using the read option to move the ball down the field.  Canty and running back Jon Gullette kept the Eagles defense off balance the entire drive.  The Raiders stopped themselves by fumbling the ball, which was scooped up by Isaiah Crowell and returned 65 yards for a touchdown.  East led 8-0 following the conversion.

Canty and crew quickly went back to work on the ground, quickly answering the Eagles score with one of their own.  On their next possession, it was more of the same from the Raiders until the scoring play inside the 10-yard line. 

With the entire stadium expecting a run, Canty lofted a beautifully thrown fade pass to Montrell Jones for the score.  The Raiders took the lead at 12-8 after the failed conversion.  Canty was having his way with the defense early on.

“I wasn’t really nervous, I was just glad they picked me to step up to such an important position and I am glad me and the team could both execute,” said Canty.

“The defensive end kept stepping out to keep us inside, so basically it was a pull and run,” he continued.  “The O line was opening up big gaps that made it easier for us to find running room.”

East briefly took the lead back on touchdown run from Traylon Ingram.  Canty quickly answered with a quarterback keeper from 25 yards out, his second rushing touchdown of the day.  Reagan held a slim 19-16 lead at the half.

Reagan got on the scoreboard first in the second half.  Following a deep pass by Canty to his wide-out, Gullette ran it in from five yards out, giving the Raiders a 10-point lead at 26-16.

The Raider defense held tough in the second half, for the most part.  They caused a turnover on downs as East was driving late in the third quarter.  East was able to close the gap to within two midway through the fourth quarter.  The Eagle defense did their job by forcing the Raiders to punt.  With 2:47 seconds left on the clock, the Eagles began their potential game-winning drive.

Eagle quarterback, Joseph Ritchens and company marched down to the Raider 30-yard line.  That was as close as they would get as the Raiders defense held tough to preserve the win.

“I felt like we played well, enough to win the game, but mistakes we made in the first half messes us up at the end of the game,” said East Forsyth head coach Damien Booe.  “That’s why I stress that we have to finish every play because it could come back to bite us in the end like it did tonight.”

“We knew number four (Canty) was basically a running back playing quarterback, so we knew he was going to be one-dimensional,” Booe said about the Reagan offense.  “Props to our defense because they had some big plays, but we limited them in the second half.”

McCoy said he knew East Forsyth had several athletes that could break the game wide open at any moment.  He credited his defense for a job well done overall. 

Canty and McCoy said the real heroes of the game were the offensive line.  McCoy said he challenged his guys to set the tone for the game and Canty felt he would not have had such a great game without them opening up such big holes for him and Gullette.


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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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