Reynolds starts the year off on a high note

Photos by Alphonso Abbott Jr.– Parkland running back Jaquan Kelly, No. 25 in white, gets brought down by a host of Reynolds defenders.

Reynolds starts the year off on a high note
August 24
05:00 2017

All summer the young men on the Forsyth County football teams have been practicing and hitting one another.  Last Thursday was the first time they were able to take what they have learned and apply it to live action as Reynolds faced off against Parkland high in the first junior varsity action of the year.

Initially this looked to be a great opening day game between two evenly matched teams as both squads scored on their opening possessions, a coaches dream.  That was pretty much the high point for the Parkland offense as that was all the points they were able to muster as they fell to Reynolds by the score of 40-14.

Parkland took the opening kickoff and proceeded to march the ball right down the field, using playmakers Jaylin Elliott and Camian Shell.  Parkland head coach Curtis Clark was pleased with the opening drive but knows adjustments have to be made for next week’s matchup.

“The opening drive showed the spark of what we have been practicing all summer,” he said.  “When we scored, the guys were up and I felt good about what we have going forward as far as the first drive.”

The Demons looked shaky opening up their first possession as they fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage but did recover.  They shook that first play off and used a combination of run and pass plays to score their first touchdown of the game when Travon Bethay caught a beautifully thrown ball from Shavon Revel.  The two-point conversion gave them an 8-6 lead that they would never relinquish.

“Scoring on our first drive was a great answer. You have to answer that when they come out like that,” said Reynolds head coach Pat Crowley.  “We had to come right back at them and we did.  I think we took a little momentum away from them and I thought that was absolutely critical.”

Looking to answer Reynolds response, Parkland took the field and promptly fumbled the ball giving possession back to the Demons.  Reynolds took little time as Bethay took a draw play to the house, giving them a 10-point lead at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter was one to forget for both teams.  Neither side could mount any offensive consistency.  Penalties and turnovers plagued both teams during the frame. Going into the half Parkland was still within striking distance going into the third quarter.

Parkland looked to rebound during the third quarter as they received the ball first.  They ran the ball heavily during the drive keeping the ball for nearly 10 minutes.  Unfortunately, penalties haulted the drive and they eventually turned the ball over on downs. 

At the end of the third, Reynolds quarterback Caden Davis took the field and instantly caught fire, throwing a couple long bombs to Antonio Yates, one of which resulted in a touchdown. Reynolds kicked off and the short kick was returned to the house by Ta’mari Miller, closing the gap to 10 once again.

“I have to look at the film, but its obvious to see that some big plays were made,” Crowley said of the stellar quarterback play by Revel and Davis.  “I want to look at the film to look at both guys. They both played well.  Caden just made some pretty big plays and it was pretty impressive.”

Reynolds used their run game to chew up the clock most of the fourth quarter.  It payed dividends as they scored two late touchdowns to close out the game. 

Clark says going forward they will have to sure up the offensive line to give their playmakers more time to find holes and survey the defense.  He says Elliott and Shell are “dynamic players” that help out the team so much.  He credits their defense for playing hard along with the team keeping up moral throughout the game.

“When we were down they guys stayed positive,” he said.  “Usually they would hold their heads down and say we are out of it but this time they showed that extra effort and we can build on that.  I know they are not 26 points better than us but we are going to keep working and keep building for the future.”

It was all smiles on the Demon sideline after the game.  Crowley says he was especially happy with the play of his freshman.  He was impressed with the defensive effort only giving up one score all night.  He thinks this was a great showing by his team with it being the first high school game for many of his players.  He says he was proud his team stood strong when the “live bullets started flying.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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